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Jane Jacobs and the problem of the city

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This article reviews three recent edited volumes devoted to exploring the legacy of Jane Jacobs. Including a wide variety of voices, the topics covered in the books range from urban planning to economics to philosophy to literature. They examine the full range of Jacobs’s output, as a journalist, an activist and scholar. More than five decades after the publication of The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), the volumes speak to Jacobs’s profound and lasting influence on the study of cities.
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Keywords: 1960s; Jane Jacobs; New York; renewal; urban planning; urban politics; urban theory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Iowa State University

Publication date: 01 June 2014

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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