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From the PublisherNothing demonstrates the need for this book more vividly than Max Page’s opening story of viewing Jane Jacobs’s ‘utterly ordinary’ West Village home, a narrow three-storey building on Hudson Street where she lived in the 1950s and ’60s, on sale in 2009 for $3.5 million. The hyper-gentrification of Lower Manhattan is just one symptom of the complicated legacy left by Jacobs, revered goddess of urban theory. The essays in this expansive collection interrogate and excavate the real details of Jacobs’s thought. It will clarify and deepen Jacobs’s ideas for novices and aficionados alike.
-Mark Kingwell, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto, and author of Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City
Reconsidering Jane Jacobs goes far beyond reconsidering. It probes all kinds of fascinating new issues, such as how Jacobs's work has been used abroad in places as diverse as China, Argentina, and Australia, and how it has empowered new urbanists while undermining professional planners. Published on the 50th anniversary of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, this book pays important tribute to Jacobs by demonstrating how much her legacy continues to challenge and stimulate.
-Lizabeth Cohen, Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Harvard University; author of A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America
With this eye-opening book, Jane Jacobs finally begins to receive the thorough reconsideration for which she has long been overdue. For two generations, Jacobs and her ideas have been flattened into formula, turning her into a simplified figure casually invoked by all sorts, from neighborhood activists to new urbanist planners. It’s high time that her work and its world-spanning influence on city life got the kind of searching, rigorous, revitalizing attention lavished on Jacobs by the contributors to this excellent collection.
-Carlo Rotella, Director of the American Studies Program and Director of the Lowell Humanities Series, Boston College; author of October Cities: The Redevelopment of Urban Literature
Reconsidering Jane Jacobs not only extends Jane Jacobs's ideas from Greenwich Village to the global village but also probes the myths and contradictions in her formation and critical reception. The dozen essays in this collection combine significant new research with insightful reflections on an original range of topics. Six decades after The Death and Life of Great American Cities and five years after her own death, Jacobs continues to live on in the intellectual life of an ever more urbanized world grappling with the question of what makes cities great.
-Joan Ockman, former director, Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University
Finally—a great book on Jane Jacobs, the universally respected fountainhead of wisdom about cities. It provides an indispensable reassessment of her writings and her ideas that is freshly relevant to today’s planners, students, and citizens as they grapple with issues she never envisioned.
-Alexander Garvin, principal, AGA Public Realm Strategists