Going against the the american way of death pdf planning dogma of the era, it proposes a newfound appreciation for organic urban vibrancy in the United States. 1950s and 1960s, Jacobs argued that modernist urban planning rejects the city, because it rejects human beings living in a community characterized by layered complexity and seeming chaos. These policies, she claimed, destroy communities and innovative economies by creating isolated, unnatural urban spaces.
Jacobs begins the work with blunt pugilism: “This book is an attack on current city planning and rebuilding. 1959, finding it friendly, safe, and healthy, and contrasting her experience against her conversations with elite planners and financiers in the area, who lament it as a “terrible slum” in need of renewal. Branding the mainstream theory of cities as an “elaborately learned superstition” that had now penetrated the thinking of planners, bureaucrats, and bankers in equal measure, she briefly traces the origins of this “orthodox urbanism. The Garden City was conceived as a new master-planned form, a self-sufficient town removed from the noise and squalor of late 19th century London, ringed by agriculture green belts, with schools and housing surrounding a highly prescribed commercial center. The Garden City would allow a maximum of 30,000 residents in each town, and called for a permanent public authority to carefully regulate land use and ward off the temptation to increase commercial activity or population density.
Industrial factories were allowed on the periphery, provided they were masked behind green spaces. Jacobs tracks Howard’s influence through American luminaries Lewis Mumford, Clarence Stein, Henry Wright, and Catherine Bauer, a collection of thinkers that Bauer referred to as “Decentrists. These efforts borrowed concepts from other contexts, such as single-use public space disconnected from natural walking routes and the imitation of the exposition grounds at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Jacobs admits that the ideas of the Garden City and the Decentrists made sense on their own terms: a suburban town appealing to privacy-oriented, automobile-loving personalities should tout its green space and low-density housing.