Pam's Reviews > The Death and Life of Great American Cities

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
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's review
Nov 22, 09

Read in October, 2009

This took me a while to read because it was easy to put down. This book is famous for being one of the first sources of critique of American city planning, and many of her arguments seem to hold water even today. This said, I constantly asked myself "where is the science?" while reading this. I wonder if it had been published in this decade, would she be allowed to draw so many conclusions based almost entirely on personal observation and opinion. My assessment of this book mirrors my judgment of the urban planning discipline in general. I am not very familiar with the more rigorous side of urban planning, but my impression is that it is wrought with stylistic trends that gain their popularity from some source other than studies which prove that one decision is actually better than any other.
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