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Dedication – Mrs. Jane Jacob s: Activist, author, example

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  • Eric Britton
    Dear Friends, I would like to invite your comments and suggestions on the following which I have drafted this morning by way of dedication to the first volume
    Message 1 of 4 , May 29, 2007
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      Dear Friends,

      I would like to invite your comments and suggestions on the following which I have drafted this morning by way of dedication to the first volume in the Reinventing Transport in Cities series.

      I thought it might interest the many of you here who know and appreciate her work, and if you have any further thoughts or suggestions for me on this, it would be great to have them privately so that I can think about them as I move toward completion of this tough task.

      Kind thanks,

      Eric Britton


      Dedication – Mrs. Jane Jacobs: Activist, author, example

      "Probably no single thinker has done more in the last fifty years to transform our ideas about the nature of urban life." -- Chicago Tribune, April 26th, 2006

      Jane Jacobs, 1916 – 2006, who with her path-breaking book The Death and Life of Great American Cities and through the years of work and daily life example which followed, almost single handedly opened up the way to new thinking about our cites and the ways in which we shape them through out transportation arrangements.  In "Death and Life" she wrote so many years ago:

       "Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning. But the destructive effects of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building. The simple needs of automobiles are more easily understood and satisfied than the complex needs of cities, and a growing number of planners and designers have come to believe that if they can only solve the problems of traffic, they will thereby have solved the major problems of cities. Cities have much more intricate economic and social concerns than automobile traffic. How can you know what to try with traffic until you know how the city itself works, and what else it needs to do with its streets? You can't."

      So if today we finally are starting to understand that we need to reinvent transport in our cities, what better place could we have to start than the work of Mrs. Jacobs.  And in addition to her quiet work as thinker and writer, we should not forget her role as a concerned citizen and passionate activist for the ideas she put on paper. Her beliefs were not just comfortable abstractions, and more than once we showed her willingness to prove it on the street:

      "Mrs. Jacobs' Protest Results in Riot Charge: -- The New York Times, April 18, 1968
      Jane Jacobs, a nationally known writer on urban problems, was arraigned in Criminal Court yesterday and charged with second-degree riot, inciting to riot and criminal mischief. The police had originally charged that Mrs. Jacobs tried to disrupt a public meeting on the controversial Lower Manhattan Expressway. 'The inference seems to be,' Mrs. Jacobs said, 'that anybody who criticizes a state program is going to get it in the neck.'"

      We miss her greatly, but now we have the opportunity to advance her ideas and  philosophy as we set about the necessary task of reinventing transport in our cities.  It is only right that the Rockefeller Foundation should have recently their creation of the Jane Jacobs Medal to honor her as an activist, author and urbanist. After all it was back in 1958 that they made a first small grant which permitted her to write Death and Life.  What luck it would be for our cities and our planet if they are able to find a few more like her.

       

      Eric Britton, Paris, Tuesday, 29 May 2007

    • Jan Gehl
      Great idea and an exellent wording I can aprove 100% Yours Jan Gehl ... Jan Gehl, Arkitekt m.a.a., Professor, Dr.Litt Damstien 27 2720, Vanløse Denmarrk Home
      Message 2 of 4 , May 29, 2007
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        Great idea and an exellent wording
        I can aprove 100%
        Yours
        Jan Gehl

        On May 29, 2007, at 12:25 PM, Eric Britton wrote:

        Dear Friends,

        I would like to invite your comments and suggestions on the following which I have drafted this morning by way of dedication to the first volume in the Reinventing Transport in Cities series.

        I thought it might interest the many of you here who know and appreciate her work, and if you have any further thoughts or suggestions for me on this, it would be great to have them privately so that I can think about them as I move toward completion of this tough task.

        Kind thanks,

        Eric Britton


        Dedication – Mrs. Jane Jacobs: Activist, author, example


        "Probably no single thinker has done more in the last fifty years to transform our ideas about the nature of urban life." -- Chicago Tribune, April 26th, 2006


        Jane Jacobs, 1916 – 2006, who with her path-breaking book The Death and Life of Great American Cities and through the years of work and daily life example which followed, almost single handedly opened up the way to new thinking about our cites and the ways in which we shape them through out transportation arrangements.  In "Death and Life" she wrote so many years ago:

         "Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning. But the destructive effects of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building. The simple needs of automobiles are more easily understood and satisfied than the complex needs of cities, and a growing number of planners and designers have come to believe that if they can only solve the problems of traffic, they will thereby have solved the major problems of cities. Cities have much more intricate economic and social concerns than automobile traffic. How can you know what to try with traffic until you know how the city itself works, and what else it needs to do with its streets? You can't."

        So if today we finally are starting to understand that we need to reinvent transport in our cities, what better place could we have to start than the work of Mrs. Jacobs.  And in addition to her quiet work as thinker and writer, we should not forget her role as a concerned citizen and passionate activist for the ideas she put on paper. Her beliefs were not just comfortable abstractions, and more than once we showed her willingness to prove it on the street:

        "Mrs. Jacobs' Protest Results in Riot Charge: -- The New York Times, April 18, 1968
        Jane Jacobs, a nationally known writer on urban problems, was arraigned in Criminal Court yesterday and charged with second-degree riot, inciting to riot and criminal mischief. The police had originally charged that Mrs. Jacobs tried to disrupt a public meeting on the controversial Lower Manhattan Expressway. 'The inference seems to be,' Mrs. Jacobs said, 'that anybody who criticizes a state program is going to get it in the neck.'"

        We miss her greatly, but now we have the opportunity to advance her ideas and  philosophy as we set about the necessary task of reinventing transport in our cities.  It is only right that the Rockefeller Foundation should have recently their creation of the Jane Jacobs Medal to honor her as an activist, author and urbanist. After all it was back in 1958 that they made a first small grant which permitted her to write Death and Life.  What luck it would be for our cities and our planet if they are able to find a few more like her.

         

        Eric Britton, Paris, Tuesday, 29 May 2007


        Jan Gehl, Arkitekt m.a.a., Professor, Dr.Litt
        Damstien 27
        2720, Vanløse
        Denmarrk

        Home +45 38 71 31 12
        Office  +45 950 951

        www.gehlarchitects.dk



      • Morten Lange
        Hi Great text. I am sorry for the late reply, but here are two questions on wording : 1. In the text Her beliefs were not just comfortable abstractions, and
        Message 3 of 4 , May 31, 2007
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          Hi

          Great text. I am sorry for the late reply, but here are two questions on
          wording :

          1. In the text
          "Her beliefs were not just comfortable abstractions,
          and more than once we showed her willingness to prove
          it on the street:"

          I find the usage of the word "we" somewhat strange there. Should it read "she"
          ?

          2. in the text
          "It is only right that the Rockefeller Foundation should have
          recently their creation of the Jane Jacobs Medal to honor her as an
          activist, author and urbanist."

          Perhaps instead "should have created the Jane Jacobs Medal..." ?
          or use "establish" or other fancier word....


          Also one gets curious as to what Jane Jacobs actually did, when accused for
          instigating riot. Although not within the scope of the dedication, I am
          interested in a pointer to the story.


          Best Regards,
          Morten Lange, Icelandic Cyclists' Federation

          --- Eric Britton <eric.britton@...> wrote:

          > Dear Friends,
          >
          > I would like to invite your comments and suggestions on the following which
          > I have drafted this morning by way of dedication to the first volume in the
          > Reinventing Transport in Cities series.
          >
          > I thought it might interest the many of you here who know and appreciate her
          > work, and if you have any further thoughts or suggestions for me on this, it
          > would be great to have them privately so that I can think about them as I
          > move toward completion of this tough task.
          >
          > Kind thanks,
          >
          > Eric Britton
          >
          > Dedication – Mrs. Jane Jacobs: Activist, author, example
          >
          > "Probably no single thinker has done more in the last fifty years to
          > transform our ideas about the nature of urban life." -- *Chicago** Tribune,
          > *April 26th, 2006
          >
          > Jane Jacobs, 1916 – 2006, who with her path-breaking book *The Death
          and
          > Life of Great American Cities* and through the years of work and daily life
          > example which followed, almost single handedly opened up the way to new
          > thinking about our cites and the ways in which we shape them through out
          > transportation arrangements. In "Death and Life" she wrote so many years
          > ago:
          >
          > "Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for
          > the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning.
          > But the destructive effects of automobiles are much less a cause than a
          > symptom of our incompetence at city building. The simple needs of
          > automobiles are more easily understood and satisfied than the complex needs
          > of cities, and a growing number of planners and designers have come to
          > believe that if they can only solve the problems of traffic, they will
          > thereby have solved the major problems of cities. Cities have much more
          > intricate economic and social concerns than automobile traffic. How can you
          > know what to try with traffic until you know how the city itself works, and
          > what else it needs to do with its streets? You can't."
          >
          > So if today we finally are starting to understand that we need to reinvent
          > transport in our cities, what better place could we have to start than the
          > work of Mrs. Jacobs. And in addition to her quiet work as thinker and
          > writer, we should not forget her role as a concerned citizen and passionate
          > activist for the ideas she put on paper. Her beliefs were not just
          > comfortable abstractions, and more than once we showed her willingness to
          > prove it on the street:
          >
          > "*Mrs. Jacobs' Protest Results in Riot Charge:* -- *The New York Times*,
          > April 18, 1968
          > Jane Jacobs, a nationally known writer on urban problems, was arraigned in
          > Criminal Court yesterday and charged with second-degree riot, inciting to
          > riot and criminal mischief. The police had originally charged that Mrs.
          > Jacobs tried to disrupt a public meeting on the controversial Lower
          > Manhattan Expressway. 'The inference seems to be,' Mrs. Jacobs said, 'that
          > anybody who criticizes a state program is going to get it in the neck.'"
          >
          > We miss her greatly, but now we have the opportunity to advance her ideas
          > and philosophy as we set about the necessary task of reinventing transport
          > in our cities. It is only right that the Rockefeller Foundation should have
          > recently their creation of the Jane Jacobs Medal to honor her as an
          > activist, author and urbanist. After all it was back in 1958 that they made
          > a first small grant which permitted her to write *Death and Life*. What
          > luck it would be for our cities and our planet if they are able to find a
          > few more like her.
          >
          >
          >
          > Eric Britton, Paris, Tuesday, 29 May 2007
          >



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        • Richard Layman
          Gratz s _The Living City_ has a chapter or two on anti-freeway activism, which discusses in depth JJ s activities in fighting freeways through Greenwich
          Message 4 of 4 , May 31, 2007
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            Gratz's _The Living City_ has a chapter or two on anti-freeway activism, which discusses in depth JJ's activities in fighting freeways through Greenwich Village.

            Morten Lange <morten7an@...> wrote:
            Hi

            Great text. I am sorry for the late reply, but here are two questions on
            wording :

            1. In the text
            "Her beliefs were not just comfortable abstractions,
            and more than once we showed her willingness to prove
            it on the street:"

            I find the usage of the word "we" somewhat strange there. Should it read "she"
            ?

            2. in the text
            "It is only right that the Rockefeller Foundation should have
            recently their creation of the Jane Jacobs Medal to honor her as an
            activist, author and urbanist."

            Perhaps instead "should have created the Jane Jacobs Medal..." ?
            or use "establish" or other fancier word....

            Also one gets curious as to what Jane Jacobs actually did, when accused for
            instigating riot. Although not within the scope of the dedication, I am
            interested in a pointer to the story.

            Best Regards,
            Morten Lange, Icelandic Cyclists' Federation

            --- Eric Britton <eric.britton@ ecoplan.org> wrote:

            > Dear Friends,
            >
            > I would like to invite your comments and suggestions on the following which
            > I have drafted this morning by way of dedication to the first volume in the
            > Reinventing Transport in Cities series.
            >
            > I thought it might interest the many of you here who know and appreciate her
            > work, and if you have any further thoughts or suggestions for me on this, it
            > would be great to have them privately so that I can think about them as I
            > move toward completion of this tough task.
            >
            > Kind thanks,
            >
            > Eric Britton
            >
            > Dedication &#8211; Mrs. Jane Jacobs: Activist, author, example
            >
            > "Probably no single thinker has done more in the last fifty years to
            > transform our ideas about the nature of urban life." -- *Chicago** Tribune,
            > *April 26th, 2006
            >
            > Jane Jacobs, 1916 &#8211; 2006, who with her path-breaking book *The Death
            and
            > Life of Great American Cities* and through the years of work and daily life
            > example which followed, almost single handedly opened up the way to new
            > thinking about our cites and the ways in which we shape them through out
            > transportation arrangements. In "Death and Life" she wrote so many years
            > ago:
            >
            > "Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for
            > the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning.
            > But the destructive effects of automobiles are much less a cause than a
            > symptom of our incompetence at city building. The simple needs of
            > automobiles are more easily understood and satisfied than the complex needs
            > of cities, and a growing number of planners and designers have come to
            > believe that if they can only solve the problems of traffic, they will
            > thereby have solved the major problems of cities. Cities have much more
            > intricate economic and social concerns than automobile traffic. How can you
            > know what to try with traffic until you know how the city itself works, and
            > what else it needs to do with its streets? You can't."
            >
            > So if today we finally are starting to understand that we need to reinvent
            > transport in our cities, what better place could we have to start than the
            > work of Mrs. Jacobs. And in addition to her quiet work as thinker and
            > writer, we should not forget her role as a concerned citizen and passionate
            > activist for the ideas she put on paper. Her beliefs were not just
            > comfortable abstractions, and more than once we showed her willingness to
            > prove it on the street:
            >
            > "*Mrs. Jacobs' Protest Results in Riot Charge:* -- *The New York Times*,
            > April 18, 1968
            > Jane Jacobs, a nationally known writer on urban problems, was arraigned in
            > Criminal Court yesterday and charged with second-degree riot, inciting to
            > riot and criminal mischief. The police had originally charged that Mrs.
            > Jacobs tried to disrupt a public meeting on the controversial Lower
            > Manhattan Expressway. 'The inference seems to be,' Mrs. Jacobs said, 'that
            > anybody who criticizes a state program is going to get it in the neck.'"
            >
            > We miss her greatly, but now we have the opportunity to advance her ideas
            > and philosophy as we set about the necessary task of reinventing transport
            > in our cities. It is only right that the Rockefeller Foundation should have
            > recently their creation of the Jane Jacobs Medal to honor her as an
            > activist, author and urbanist. After all it was back in 1958 that they made
            > a first small grant which permitted her to write *Death and Life*. What
            > luck it would be for our cities and our planet if they are able to find a
            > few more like her.
            >
            >
            >
            > Eric Britton, Paris, Tuesday, 29 May 2007
            >

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