25 April 2006

A giant passes

Jane Jacobs


We just lost Jane Jacobs. Ninety years old, and working on yet another book.

She didn't need to be. She secured her claim to greatness for having written The Death and Life of Great American Cities forty-five years ago. To my mind—and many others'—it's the most important book about urban design ever. And, dear to my heart, she was a great dilettante. She was smart about subjects that defy categorization and demand synthesis, and she got there by virtue of paying attention and doing her own homework, rather than by virtue of any formal qualifications.

I blogged a link to a terrific web post about her a while back. If you didn't check it out then, you missed out. Now might be a good time; you'll see why I mourn her passing.

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