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Great Streets

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"Jacobs has been working on this classic -- there's no other word for it -- for a decade. Jacobs rightly believes that good cities are made of good streets and that we're rapidly losing our talent for creating them. He measures and draws many of the worldUs great streets, from Pittsburgh to Beijing. He describes changes in the street pattern of cities like Boston, where a ...more
Paperback, 331 pages
Published August 4th 1995 by Mit Press (first published 1993)
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 ·  377 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jacobs is interested in why some streets are better than others--why we return to certain streets more than others regardless of what's on them. The issue, of course, in trying to define such things is that a street's greatness is always defined within a context. What exactly does a person need the street for? That's going to make a large difference in the definition of "great street."

Jacobs, thus, lays out several criteria. Great streets do the follow:

1. Great streets co
Tara Brabazon
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This a big book: physically and intellectually. Published nearly 20 years ago, it is a testament to the street as the foundation and basis of culture, economics and social energy. Using case studies, there is attention to the streets of memory. There is also a discussion of how technology has supposedly rendered urban living redundant. Now, we choose to living in cities. We do not have to live there to work in manufacturing industries.

Well illustrated and beautifully presented, this is a rigoro
Sudhir Bhatia
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I use it in my design courses to demonstrate how city and street patters shown at the same size and scale can give insights into the differences between culture, social interaction, infrastructure demands, and governance. A good example of data visualization.
Frank Stein
Mar 13, 2009 rated it liked it
It's OK.

Great drawings and plans of streets, some interesting road maps, but the text doesn't add much. It's understandably difficult to formulate hard and fast rules about what makes a street "great," but most of the descriptions are only vague observations on whatever seems to have hit the author's eye. Still, it does give the reader a better understanding of all the different factors that affect the quality of streets.
Jun 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
I can't claim to have read much of the text in this volume, but I can attest to the value of the plans and illustrations provided. This is a good reference for those looking to emulate existing successful spaces, but for the most part its just a delight to flip through.

Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved the content. The large format book with tiny text made it annoying to read. Publishers: please don't put 4 inch margins with 9 point font on a book that is 16 inches tall. Thanks for your consideration, because some of us actually want to read the informative text.
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Like another reviewer, I can't say much about the text. But the appendix! Black and white abstractions of the street maps/layouts of cities around the world and through time. Beautiful. Highly recommended.
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
superb illustrations, give a different perspective and opens you up to ideas and concepts that you may not fully register when you're in some of the spaces being described.
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend for anyone wanting to gain a critical eye in how they understand streets.
Oct 10, 2007 marked it as to-read
Haha, yeah, I still need to read this book. But I bought it and it's setting on my shelves.
The wonder of well-done public spaces, through transportation infrastructure
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an important and highly inspiring book. I keep this right beside my desk for constant reference.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic text. The writing is a bit dated, but the maps of streetscapes from around the world are still enlightening.
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated analysis of street sections and street grids to evaluate what excellent streets looks like around the world.
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