The first major biography of the irrepressible woman who changed the way we view and live in cities, and whose influence can still be felt in any discussion of urban planning to this day. Eyes on the Street is a revelation of the phenomenal woman who raised three children, wrote seven groundbreaking books, saved neighborhoods, stopped expressways, was arrested twice, and engaged at home and on the streets in thousands of debates--all of which she won. Here is the child who challenged her third-grade teacher; the high school poet; the journalist who honed her writing skills at Iron Age, Architectural Forum, Fortune, and other outlets, while amassing the knowledge she would draw upon to write her most famous book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Here, too, is the activist who helped lead an ultimately successful protest against Robert Moses's proposed expressway through her beloved Greenwich Village; and who, in order to keep her sons out of the Vietnam War, moved to Canada, where she became as well known and admired as she was in the United States. From the Hardcover edition.
"In Walking in the City with Jane, award-winning author Susan Hughes tells the fictionalized story of Jane Jacobs through a celebration of city life and grassroots activism. Even as a young girl, Jane was an independent thinker with an extraordinary imagination and sense of wonder. She was known to challenge her teacher and was often found playing with her imaginary friends, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Cedric the warrior. Always curious and engaged by her surroundings, Jane grew up to be an exceptional woman who cared deeply about her city. When urban planner Robert Moses proposed an expressway to cut across Manhattan, Jane rallied the local community to save the neighbourhood and even got arrested for standing up for her beliefs. Gorgeously illustrated by Valérie Boivin, Walking in the City with Jane offers a glimpse into the mind of one of our greatest urban thinkers whose influence on cities is still felt today."--
Best known in the United States for her path-breaking efforts in preserving the character of Greenwich Village, Jane Jacobs is the author of the classic 1961 book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities". This book tells how without any formal training in planning, Jacobs became a prominent spokesperson for sensible urban change.
Space, Community, and Self in the Contemporary Metropolis
Publisher: 010 Publishers
Category: Cities and towns
What does the Western city at the end of the twentieth century look like? How did the modern metropolis of congestion and density turn into a posturban or even postsuburban cityscape? What are edge cities and technoburbs? How has the social composition of cities changed in the postwar era? What do gated communities tell us about social fragmentation? Is public space in the contemporary city being privatized and militarized? How can the urban self still be defined? What role does consumer aestheticism have to play in this? These and many more questions are addressed by this uniquely conceived multidisciplinary study. The Urban Condition seeks to interfere in current debates over the future and interpretation of our urban landscapes by reuniting studies of the city as a physical and material phenomenon and as a cultural and mental (arte)fact. The Ghent Urban Studies Team responsible for the writing and editing of this volume is directed by Kristiaan Versluys and Dirk De Meyer at the University of Ghent, Belgium. It is an interdisciplinary research team of young academics that further consists of Kristiaan Borret, Bart Eeckhout, Steven Jacobs, and Bart Keunen. The collective expertise of GUST ranges from architectural theory, urban planning, and art history to philosophy, literary criticism and cultural theory.
A Story of Community and Public Life in Siena, Italy
Author: Thomas W. Paradis
It was May 2013 when Thomas Paradis convened in Siena, Italy, with a cohort of American faculty and students to lead a two-month inaugural study-abroad program. After a harrowing journey across the ocean, students and faculty alike soon realized that adapting to a foreign culture and language would be more challenging than they expected, especially amid one of the world’s more authentic community festivals—the Palio horse race. Paradis weaves witty stories of personal discovery with a crash course on Siena and its ferocious twice-yearly horse race. As the July 2 race and its related rituals draw closer, Paradis details how he and his wife uncovered the impressive local communities that underlie the life and blood of the age-old Palio in order to better understand what drives the passion of its residents. When the race finally begins, Paradis provides a compelling upfront view of the action and the race’s aftermath, pulling in the collective experiences of his students as their eyes and minds open to seeing the world in an entirely new way. Living the Palio shares an amusing and instructional romp through Siena, Italy, as university faculty members and their students gain self-confidence, patience, and most importantly, respect for a different way of life.
What We Can Learn from Newcomers to America about Health, Happiness and Hope
Author: Claudia Kolker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Social Science
Do you have a relative or friend who would gladly wait on you, hand and foot, for a full month after you had a baby? How about someone to deliver a delicious, piping hot home-cooked meal, just like your mother’s, right to your front door after work? Do you know people you’d trust enough to give several hundred dollars a month to, with no receipt, on the simple promise that the accumulated wealth will come back to you a year later? Not many of us can answer “yes” to these questions. But as award-winning journalist Claudia Kolker has discovered, each of these is one of a wide variety of cherished customs brought to the United States by immigrant groups, often adapted to American life by the second generation in a distinctive blending of old and new. Taken together, these extraordinary traditions may well contribute to what’s known as “the immigrant paradox,” the growing evidence that immigrants, even those from poor or violence-wracked countries, tend to be both physically and mentally healthier than most native-born Americans. These customs are unfamiliar to most Americans, but they shouldn’t be. Honed over centuries, they provide ingenious solutions to daily challenges most of us face and provide both social support and comfort. They range from Vietnamese money clubs that help people save and Mexican cuarentenas—a forty-day period of rest for new mothers—to Korean afterschools that offer highly effective tutoring at low cost and Jamaican multigenerational households that help younger family members pay for college and, eventually, their own homes. Fascinated by the success of immigrant friends, Claudia Kolker embarked on a journey to uncover how these customs are being carried on and adapted by the second and third generations, and how they can enrich all of our lives. In a beautifully written narrative, she takes readers into the living rooms, kitchens, and restaurants of immigrant families and neighborhoods all across the country, exploring the sociable street life of Chicago’s “Little Village,” a Mexican enclave with extraordinarily low rates of asthma and heart disease; the focused quiet of Korean afterschool tutoring centers; and the loving, controlled chaos of a Jamaican extended-family home. She chronicles the quests of young Indian Americans to find spouses with the close guidance of their parents, revealing the benefits of “assisted marriage,” an American adaptation of arranged marriage. And she dives with gusto into some of the customs herself, experimenting to see how we might all fit them into our lives. She shows us the joy, and excitement, of savoring Vietnamese “monthly rice” meals delivered to her front door, hiring a tutor for her two young girls, and finding a powerful sense of community in a money-lending club she started with friends. The Immigrant Advantage is an adventurous exploration of little-known traditional wisdom, and how in this nation of immigrants our lives can be enriched by the gifts of our newest arrivals.
A sweeping new look at the unheralded transformation that is eroding the foundations of American exceptionalism. Americans today find themselves mired in an era of uncertainty and frustration. The nation's safety net is pulling apart under its own weight; political compromise is viewed as a form of defeat; and our faith in the enduring concept of American exceptionalism appears increasingly outdated. But the American Age may not be ending. In The Vanishing Neighbor, Marc J. Dunkelman identifies an epochal shift in the structure of American life—a shift unnoticed by many. Routines that once put doctors and lawyers in touch with grocers and plumbers—interactions that encouraged debate and cultivated compromise—have changed dramatically since the postwar era. Both technology and the new routines of everyday life connect tight-knit circles and expand the breadth of our social landscapes, but they've sapped the commonplace, incidental interactions that for centuries have built local communities and fostered healthy debate. The disappearance of these once-central relationships—between people who are familiar but not close, or friendly but not intimate—lies at the root of America's economic woes and political gridlock. The institutions that were erected to support what Tocqueville called the "township"—that unique locus of the power of citizens—are failing because they haven't yet been molded to the realities of the new American community. It's time we moved beyond the debate over whether the changes being made to American life are good or bad and focus instead on understanding the tradeoffs. Our cities are less racially segregated than in decades past, but we’ve become less cognizant of what's happening in the lives of people from different economic backgrounds, education levels, or age groups. Familiar divisions have been replaced by cross-cutting networks—with profound effects for the way we resolve conflicts, spur innovation, and care for those in need. The good news is that the very transformation at the heart of our current anxiety holds the promise of more hope and prosperity than would have been possible under the old order. The Vanishing Neighbor argues persuasively that to win the future we need to adapt yesterday’s institutions to the realities of the twenty-first-century American community.