Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.

— Jane Jacobs

The most provocative Jane Jacobs quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Streets and their sidewalks-the main public places of a city-are its most vital organs.

313

Intricate minglings of different uses in cities are not a form of chaos.

On the contrary, they represent a complex and highly developed form of order.

254

The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any one place is always replete with new improvisations.

221

The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity.

202

This is something everyone knows: A well-used city street is apt to be a safe street. A deserted city street is apt to be unsafe.

193

This is what a city is, bits and pieces that supplement each other and support each other.

166

Lowly, unpurposeful and random as they may appear, sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a city's wealth of public life may grow.

162

To approach a city, or even a city neighborhood, as if it were a larger architectural problem, capable of being given order by converting it into a disciplined work of art, is to make the mistake of attempting to substitute art for life. The results of such profound confusion between art and life are neither life nor art. They are taxidermy.

149

Dull, inert cities, it is true, do contain the seeds of their own destruction and little else. But lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration, with energy enough to carry over for problems and needs outside themselves.

125

When we deal with cities we are dealing with life at its most complex and intense. Planners are guided by principles derived from the behaviour and appearance of suburbs, tuberculosis sanatoria, fairs and imaginary dream cities - from anything but cities themselves.

88

Cities are an immense laboratory of trial and error, failure and success, in city building and city design.

81

The point of cities is multiplicity of choice.

80

About Jane Jacobs

Quotes 125 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Sociologist
Birthday October 16

There is no new world that you make without the old world.

60

Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning. But the destructive effect of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building.

53

it is immoral for powerless people to accept this powerlessness.

They may not succeed in getting power but they can fight for it, and if enough fight for it, it makes it very difficult for the people with the big sticks.

45

You can't rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.

30

But look what we have built ... This is not the rebuilding of cities. This is the sacking of cities.

30

Writing, printing, and the Internet give a false sense of security about the permanence of culture.

22

New ideas must use old buildings

21

[Cities] are not like suburbs, only denser.

They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of these is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.

21

As in the pseudoscience of bloodletting, just so in the pseudoscience of city rebuilding and planning, years of learning and a plethora of subtle and complicated dogma have arisen on a foundation of nonsense.

20

...frequent streets and short blocks are valuable because of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighbouhood.

19

Never underestimate the power of a city to regenerate.

18

There are dangers in sentimentalizing nature.

Most sentimental ideas imply, at bottom, a deep if unacknowledged disrespect. It is no accident that we Americans, probably the world's champion sentimentalizers about nature, are at one and the same time probably the world's most voracious and disrespectful destroyers of wild and rural countryside.

17

Today barbarism has taken over many city streets, or people fear it has, which comes to much the same thing in the end.

16

Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.

16

In our American cities, we need all kinds of diversity.

16

It may be that we have become so feckless as a people that we no longer care how things do work, but only what kind of quick, easy outer impression they give. If so, there is little hope for our cities or probably for much else in our society. But I do not think this is so.

15

One wonders at the docility of the students who evidently must be satisfied enough with the credentials to be uncaring about the lack of education.

14

Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities.

14

Neighborhood is a word that has come to sound like a Valentine.

As a sentimental concept, 'neighborhood' is harmful to city planning. It leads to attempts at warping city life into imitations of town or suburban life. Sentimentality plays with sweet intentions in place of good sense.

13

Virtually all ideologues, of any variety, are fearful and insecure, which is why they are drawn to ideologies that promise prefabricated answers for all circumstances.

12

Does anyone suppose that, in real life, answers to any of the great questions that worry us today are going to come out of homogeneous settlements?

12

To science, not even the bark of a tree or a drop of pond water is dull or a handful of dirt banal. They all arouse awe and wonder.

11

Everyone is aware that tremendous numbers of people concentrate in city downtowns and that, if they did not, there would be no downtown to amount to anything--certainly not one with much downtown diversity.

11

poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes. Analogically, heat is a result of active processes; it has causes. But cold is not the result of any processes; it is only the absence of heat. Just so, the great cold of poverty and economic stagnation is merely the absence of economic development.

11

Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves.

11

Being human is itself difficult, and therefore all kinds of settlements (except dream cities) have problems. Big cities have difficulties in abundance, because they have people in abundance.

8

By its nature, the metropolis provides what otherwise could be given only by traveling; namely, the strange.

8

Redundancy is expensive but indispensable.

7

Subsidiarity is the principle that government works best most responsibly and responsively when it is closest to the people it serves and the needs it addresses. Fiscal accountability is the principle that institutions collecting and disbursing taxes work most responsibly when they are transparent to those providing the money.

7

To seek "causes" of poverty in this way is to enter an intellectual dead end because poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes.

6

There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.

6

What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles? .

.. In that case America will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia. What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable. The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles.

6

In small settlements everyone knows your affairs.

In the city everyone does not-only those you choose to tell will know about you. This is one of the attributes of cities that is precious to most city people.

5

New ideas often need old buildings.

5

I have learned yet again (this has been going on all my life) what folly it is to take any thing for granted without examining it skeptically.

5

When we deal with cities we are dealing with life at its most complex and intense. Because this is so, there is a basic esthetic limitation on what can be done with cities: a city cannot be a work of art.

5

Some men tend to cling to old intellectual excitements, just as some belles, when they are old ladies, still cling to the fashions and coiffures of their exciting youth.

4
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