Really Great post from Brain Pickings on Big Cities fostering Creative Life. Jane Jacobs on Our Civic Duty in Cultivating Cities That Foster a Creative Life – Brain Pickings
Big cities offer the ,. It takes a great big city to support either commerce or culture that isn’t absolutely standardized. And if we have big cities that are unable to offer services, then we are not getting the salient advantages.
Only a few times a century, if we’re lucky, a book comes along to prod the popular imagination with so powerful a challenge to our basic assumptions that it revises common sense and we begin to inhabit our everyday reality differently, looking upon the most mundane aspects of our world with new eyes. Among those rare books is the 1961 masterwork The Death and Life of Great American Cities by the great author, activist, and urbanism patron saint Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916–April 25, 2006). Upending the old dogma of urban renewal and ushering in a radical reevaluation of what makes cities thrive, Jacobs issued a clarion call for creating a civic culture that nurtures the essential elements of robust public life. Hers was a bottom-up, people-first vision for cities, in many ways a counterpoint to the top-down grandiosity of her archnemesis Robert Moses.
Several months after the publication of her groundbreaking book, Jacobs sat down with Mademoiselle editors Eve Auchincloss and Nancy Lynch for a wide-ranging conversation, preserved in Jane Jacobs: The Last Interview and Other Conversations (public library) — perhaps the most direct glimpse of the ideas and ideals that animated one of the liveliest, most visionary minds of the past century.