Conventional city planning holds that cities decline because they are blighted by over-crowding, byt old buildings and narrow streets, and by mixtures of commercial and residential use. Crowded neighbourhoods, it is generally stated, breed apathy and crime, discourage investment and contaminate the areas around them. The response of city planners is to tear the old neighbourhoods down, scatter their inhabitants, lay out super-blocks, and rebuild the area according to an integrated plan, with the frequent result that the crime rate rises still higher, the new neighbourhood is more lifeless than the old one, and the surrounding areas deteriotate even more, until the whole city is affected. In this groundbreaking study, Jane Jacobs offers a real alternative to conventional city planning that we have had in this century. Herself a city dweller, she asks what makes cities work, why are some neighbourhoods full of things to do and see and others dul, why is the crime rate soaring in public housing developments, and why are some of the areas condemned as slums so much more safe, stable and congenial?
"The most refreshing, provacative, stimulating and exciting study of this [great problem] which I have seen. It fairly crackles with bright honesty and common sense" -- Harrison Salisbury * New York Times * "One of the most remarkable books ever written about the city... a primary work. The research apparatus is not pretentious it is the eye and the heart but it has given us a magnificent study of what gives life and spirit to the city" -- William H. Whyte, author of The Organization Man "Perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning... Jacobs has a powerful sense of narrative, a lively wit, a talent for surprise and the ability to touch the emotions as well as the mind" * New York Times Book Review * "An immensely provocative and rewarding book... It challenges comfortable assumptions...but it does so in a manner that is neither rancorous nor contentions" -- Jonathan Yardley * Washington Post *
**1: Introduction* Part One: The Peculiar Nature of Cities**2: The uses of sidewalks: safety*3: The uses of sidewalks: contact*4: The uses of sidewalks: assimilating children*5: The uses of neighbourhood parks*6: The uses of city neighbourhoods* Part Two: The Conditions for City Diversity**7: The generators of diversity*8: The need for mixed primary uses*9: The need for small blocks*10: The need for aged buildings*11: The need for concentration*12: Some myths about diversity* Part Three: Forces of Decline and Regeneration**13: The self-destruction of diversity*14: The curse of border vacuums*15: Unslumming and slumming*16: Gradual money and cataclysmic money* Part Four: Different Tactics**17: Subsidizing dwellings*18: Erosion of cities or attrition of automobiles*19: Visual order: its limitations and possibilities*20: Salvaging projects*21: Governing and planning districts*22: The kind of problem a city is