Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs
|Author:||Jane Jacobs (Yale - NUS College, Singapore)|
A career-spanning selection of previously uncollected writings and talks by the legendary author and activist No one did more to change how we look at cities than Jane Jacobs, the visionary urbanist and economic thinker whose 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities"started a global conversation that remains profoundly relevant more than half a century later. "Vital Little Plans" is an essential companion to "Death and Life" and Jacobs s other books on urbanism, economics, politics, and ethics. It offers readers a unique survey of her entire career in forty short pieces that have never been collected in a single volume, from charming and incisive urban vignettes from the 1930s to the raw materials of her two unfinished books of the 2000s, together with introductions and annotations by editors Samuel Zipp and Nathan Storring. Readers will find classics here, including Jacobs s breakout article Downtown Is for People, as well as lesser-known gems like her speech at the inaugural Earth Day and a host of other rare or previously unavailable essays, articles, speeches, interviews, and lectures. Some pieces shed light on the development of her most famous insights, while others explore topics rarely dissected in her major works, from globalization to feminism to universal health care. With this book," " published in Jacobs s centenary year, contemporary readers whether well versed in her ideas or new to her writing are finally able to appreciate the full scope of her remarkable voice and vision. At a time when urban life is booming and people all over the world are moving to cities, the words of Jane Jacobs have never been more significant. "Vital Little Plans"weaves a lifetime of ideas from the most prominent urbanist of the twentieth century into a book that s indispensable to life in the twenty-first. Advance praise for "Vital Little Plans" Jane Jacobs saw the city like no other, and her observational genius, practical wisdom, and moral courage are on full display here, making this brilliantly curated book essential reading. With our cities facing unprecedented sustainability and affordability challenges, we need to listen to Jacobs more than ever. Matthew Desmond, "New York Times"bestselling author of"Evicted" In these stirring pages, Jane Jacobs shows herself once more to have been the keenest observer of the urban condition. Her vision of people-focused cities that are places, and not merely spaces, remains both prescient and relevant for planners, policy makers, and ordinary people today. Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg Associates, former NYC transportation commissioner It s one thing to bring important ideas to the world, quite another to do it with such wit and subtlety. This volume reminds us what a crackling great writer Jane Jacobs was. James Howard Kunstler, author of "The Geography of Nowhere" This might be the very best of Jane Jacobs s books. The articles and speeches collected here are terrific summaries of her thoughts about the marvelous complexities of cities and how we might respond to city challenges to our best advantage. John Sewell, former mayor of Toronto "Vital Little Plans" is an immensely important retrospective of Jane Jacobs s articles and speeches. Her belief in the power of residents to make cities economically, environmentally, and socially successful shines through, as does her disdain for those who would build cities for cars, not people. David Miller, president and CEO of WWF-Canada and former mayor of Toronto"