Jane’s influence

Jane Jacobs was, and is, the sage of urban planning. Here are a few of her contributions that form the foundation for urban planning and development today and tomorrow:

Diversity. This was the single underlying theme of her seminal work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and not coincidentally, the theme of Richard Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class. Her four basic elements for diversity: A concentration of people; small blocks; old and new buildings; a major, easily identifiable amenity that draws people.

Eyes on the street. Not many police departments aren’t familiar with this term that she coined in Death and Life of Great American Cities. It’s now well accepted that the best form of public safety are well-populated streets, by both residents and strollers.

…and looking ahead to the future…

Credentialing vs. Educating. Our economy is based on professionals that become credentialed (ie doctors, engineers) through a formal education system. Unfortunately, they’re based on an outdated economy and quality of life. Professionals don’t need credentials, they need a modern education. This is from her last book, Dark Age Ahead, which is actually more optimistic than the title.

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