Using local media (local news websites, etc.), identify a planned or recently-completed development in your home town.Apply Jacobss lists to the area: Does/did it have mixed use and mixed-age buildings? Are there “eyes on the street”?Ask the same questions of the development using publicly-available information. Do you think it would be an improvement to the area, and why? Think about to both architectural and social questions based on what you read in Jacobs/Lange.Write a “Jacobsian” account (2-3 pages) of the site and the development.Requirements: 3pagesThe Death and Life of Great American Cities JANE JACOBSOriginally published 1961 by Random House Part One: Chapter 2The uses of sidewalks: safety…A city street equipped to handle strangers, and to make a safety asset, in itself, out of the presence of strangers, as the streets of successful city neighborhoods always do, must have three main qualities:First, there must be a clear demarcation between what is pub lic space and what is private space. Public and private spaces can not ooze into each other as they do typically in suburban settings or in projects.Second, there must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers and to insure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind.And third, the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continu ously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufÞcient 147PAGE 162Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.JANE JACOBS148numbers. Nobody enjoys sitting on a stoop or looking out a window at an empty street. Almost nobody does such a thing. Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on, by watching street activity.In settlements that are smaller and simpler than big cities, con trols on acceptable public behavior, if not on crime, seem to op erate with greater or lesser success through a web of reputation, gossip, approval, disapproval and sanctions, all of which are pow erful if people know each other and word travels. But a cityÕs streets, which must control not only the behavior of the people of the city but also of visitors from suburbs and towns who want to have a big time away from the gossip and sanctions at home, have to operate by more direct, straightforward methods. It is a wonder cities have solved such an inherently difÞcult problem at all. And yet in many streets they do it magniÞcently….Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a com plex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the danceÑnot to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously rein force each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any one place is always replete with new improvisations.The stretch of Hudson Street where I live is each day the scene of an intricate sidewalk ballet. I make my own Þrst entrance into it a little after eight when I put out the garbage can, surely a prosaic occupation, but I enjoy my part, my little clang, as the droves of junior high school students walk by the center of the stage dropping candy wrappers. (How do they eat so much candy so early in the morning?)While I sweep up the wrappers I watch the other rituals of morning: Mr. Halpert unlocking the laundryÕs handcart from its mooring to a cellar PAGE 162PAGE 162Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES 149door, Joe CornacchiaÕs son-in-law stacking out the empty crates from the delicatessen, the barber bringing out his sidewalk folding chair, Mr. Goldstein arranging the coils of wire which proclaim the hardware store is open, the wife of the tenementÕs superintendent depositing her chunky three-year-old with a toy mandolin on the stoop, the vantage point from which he is learning the English his mother cannot speak. Now the primary children, heading for St. LukeÕs, dribble through to the south; the children for St. VeronicaÕs cross, head ing to the west, and the children for P.S. 41, heading toward the cast. Two new entrances are being made from the wings: well-dressed and even elegant women and men with brief cases emerge from doorways and side streets. Most of these are heading for the bus and subways, but some hover on the curbs, stopping taxis which have miraculously appeared at the right moment, for the taxis are part of a wider morning ritual: having dropped passen gers from midtown in the downtown Þnancial district, they are now bringing downtowners up to midtown. Simultaneously, numbers of women in housedresses have emerged and as they crisscross with one another they pause for quick conversations that sound with either laughter or joint indignation, never, it seems, anything between. It is time for me to hurry to work too, and I exchange my ritual farewell with Mr. Lofaro, the short, thick-bodied, white-aproned fruit man who stands outside his doorway a little up the street, his arms folded, his feet planted, looking solid as earth itself. We nod; we each glance quickly up and down the street, then look back to each other and smile. We have done this many a morning for more than ten years, and we both know what it means: All is well.The heart-of-the-day ballet I seldom see, because part of the nature of it is that working people who live there, like me, are mostly gone, Þlling the roles of strangers on other sidewalks. But from days off, I know enough of it to know that it becomes more and more intricate. Longshoremen who are not working that day gather at the White Horse or the Ideal or the Inter-national for beer and conversation. The executives and business lunchers from the industries just to the west throng the Dorgene restaurant and the LionÕs Head coffee house; meat-market workers and communications scientists Þll the bakery lunchroom. Character dancers come on, a strange old man with Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.JANE JACOBS150strings of old shoes over his shoulders, motor-scooter riders with big beards and girl friends who bounce on the back of the scooters and wear their hair long in front of their faces as well as behind, drunks who follow the advice of the Hat Council and are always turned out in hats, but not hats the Council would approve. Mr. Lacey, the locksmith, shuts up his shop for a while and goes to exchange the time of day with Mr. Slube at the cigar store. Mr. Koochagian, the tailor, waters the luxuriant jungle of plants in his window, gives them a critical look from the outside, accepts a compliment on them from two passers-by, Þngers the leaves on the plane tree in front of our house with a thoughtful gardenerÕs appraisal, and crosses the street for a bite at the Ideal where he can keep an eye on customers and wigwag across the message that he is coming. The baby carriages come out, and clusters of everyone from toddlers with dolls to teen-agers with homework gather at the stoops.When I get home after work, the ballet is reaching its cre scendo. This is the time of roller skates and stilts and tricycles, and games in the lee of the stoop with bottletops and plastic cowboys; this is the time of bundles and packages, zigzagging from the drug store to the fruit stand and back over to the butcherÕs; this is the time when teen-agers, all dressed up, are pausing to ask if their slips show or their collars look right; this is the time when beautiful girls get out of MGÕs; this is the time when the Þre engines go through; this is the time when anybody you know around Hudson Street will go by.As darkness thickens and Mr. Halpert moors the laundry cart to the cellar door again, the ballet goes on under lights, eddying back and forth but intensifying at the bright spotlight pools of JoeÕs sidewalk pizza dispensary, the bars, the delicatessen, the restaurant and the drug store. The night workers stop now at the delicatessen, to pick up salami and a container of milk. Things have settled down for the evening but the street and its ballet have not come to a stop.I know the deep night ballet and its seasons best from waking long after midnight to tend a baby and, sitting in the dark, seeing the shadows and hearing the sounds of the sidewalk. Mostly it is a sound like inÞnitely pattering snatches of party conversation and, about three in the morning, singing, very good singing. Sometimes there is sharpness and anger or sad, sad weeping, Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES 151or a ßurry of search for a string of beads broken. One night a young man came roaring along, bellowing terrible language at two girls whom he had apparently picked up and who were disappointing him. Doors opened, a wary semicircle formed around him, not too close, until the police came. Out came the heads, too, along Hudson Street, offering opinion, ÒDrunk…Crazy…A wild kid from the suburbs.ÓDeep in the night, I am almost unaware how many people are on the street unless something calls them together, like the bag pipe. Who the piper was and why he favored our street I have no idea. The bagpipe just skirled out in the February night, and as if it were a signal the random, dwindled movements of the side walk took on direction. Swiftly, quietly, almost magically a little crowd was there, a crowd that evolved into a circle with a Highland ßing inside it. The crowd could be seen on the shadowy sidewalk, the dancers could be seen, but the bagpiper himself was almost invisible because his bravura was all in his music. He was a very little man in a plain brown overcoat. When he Þnished and vanished, the dancers and watchers applauded, and applause came from the galleries too, half a dozen of the hundred windows on Hudson Street. Then the windows closed, and the little crowd dissolved into the random movements of the night street.The strangers on Hudson Street, the allies whose eyes help us natives keep the peace of the street, are so many they always seem to be different people from one day to the next. That does not matter. Whether they are so many always-different people as they seem to be, I do not know. Likely they are. When Jimmy Rogan fell through a plate-glass window (he was separating some scufßing friends) and almost lost his arm, a stranger in an old T shirt emerged from the Ideal bar, swiftly applied an expert tourniquet and, according to the hospitalÕs emergency staff, saved JimmyÕs life. Nobody remembered seeing the man before and no one has seen him since. The hospital was called in this way: a woman sitting on the steps next to the accident ran over to the bus stop, wordlessly snatched the dime from the hand of a stranger who was waiting with his Þfteen-cent fare ready, and raced into the IdealÕs phone booth. The stranger raced after her to offer the nickel too. Nobody remembered seeing him before, and no one has seen him since. Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.JANE JACOBS152When you see the same stranger three or four times on Hudson Street, you begin to nod. This is almost getting to be an acquaintance, a public acquaintance, of course.I have made the daily ballet of Hudson Street sound more frenetic than it is, because writing it telescopes it. In real life, it is not that way. In real life, to be sure, something is always going on, the ballet is never at a halt, but the general effect is peaceful and the general tenor even leisurely. People who know well such animated city streets will know how it is. I am afraid people who do not will always have it a little wrong in their headsÑlike the old prints of rhinoceroses made from travelersÕ descriptions of rhinoceroses.On Hudson Street, the same as in the North End of Boston or in any other animated neighborhoods of great cities, we are not innately more competent at keeping the sidewalks safe than are the people who try to live off the hostile truce of Turf in a blind-eyed city. We are the lucky possessors of a city order that makes it relatively simple to keep the peace because there are plenty of eyes on the street. But there is nothing simple about that order itself, or the bewildering number of components that go into it. Most of those components are specialized in one way or another. They unite in their joint effect upon the sidewalk, which is not specialized in the least. That is its strength.Part Two: Chapter 8The need for primary mixed usesCondition 1: The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two. These must insure the presence of people who go outdoors on different schedules and are in the place for different purposes, but who are able to use many facilities in common.On successful city streets, people must appear at different times. This is time considered on a small scale, hour by hour through the day. I have PAGE 162PAGE 164Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES 153already explained this necessity in social terms while discussing street safety and also neighborhood parks. Now I shall point out its economic effects.Neighborhood parks, you will recall, need people who are in the immediate vicinity for different purposes from one another, or else the parks will be used only sporadically.Most consumer enterprises are just as dependent as parks on people going to and fro throughout the day, but with this differ ence: If parks lie idle, it is bad for them and their neighborhoods but they do not disappear as a consequence. If consumer enter prises lie idle for much of the day they may disappear. Or, to be more accurate, in most such cases they never appear in the Þrst place. Stores, like parks, need users.For a humble example of the economic effects of people spread through time of day, I will ask you to think back to a city side walk scene: the ballet of Hudson Street. The continuity of this movement (which gives the street its safety) depends on an eco nomic foundation of basic mixed uses. The workers from the laboratories, meat-packing plants, warehouses, plus those from a bewildering variety of small manufacturers, printers and other little industries and ofÞces, give all the eating places and much of the other commerce support at midday. We residents on the street and on its more purely residential tributaries could and would sup port a modicum of commerce by ourselves, but relatively little. We possess more convenience, liveliness, variety and choice than we ÒdeserveÓ in our own right. The people who work in the neighborhood also possess, on account of us residents, more vari ety than they ÒdeserveÓ in their own right. We support these things together by unconsciously cooperating economically. If the neighborhood were to lose the industries, it would be a disaster for us residents. Many enterprises, unable to exist on residential trade by itself, would disappear. Or if the industries were to lose us residents, enterprises unable to exist on the working people by themselves would disappear.As it is, workers and residents together are able to produce more than the sum of our two parts. The enterprises we are capa ble of supporting, mutually, draw out onto the sidewalk by eve ning many more residents than would emerge if the place were moribund. And, in a modest way, they also PAGE 164Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.JANE JACOBS154attract still another crowd in addition to the local residents or local workers. They attract people who want a change from their neighborhoods, just as we frequently want a change from ours. This attraction ex poses our commerce to a still larger and more diverse population, and this in turn has permitted a still further growth and range of commerce living on all three kinds of population in varying pro portions: a shop down the street selling prints, a store that rents diving equipment, a dispensary of Þrst-rate pizza, a pleasant cof fee house.Sheer numbers of people using city streets, and the way those people are spread through the hours of the day, are two different matters. I shall deal with sheer numbers in another chapter; at this stage it is important to understand that numbers, in themselves, are not an equivalent for people distributed through time of day.Part Two: Chapter 9The need for small blocks…Nor do long blocks possess more virtue in other cities than they do in New York. In Philadelphia there is a neighborhood in which buildings are simply being let fall down by their owners, in an area between the downtown and the cityÕs major belt of public housing projects. There are many reasons for this neigh borhoodÕs hopelessness, including the nearness of the rebuilt city with its social disintegration and danger, but obviously the neigh borhood has not been helped by its own physical structure. The standard Philadelphia block is 400 feet square (halved by the alleys-become-streets where the city is most successful). In this falling-down neighborhood some of that Òstreet wasteÓ was eliminated in the original street layout; some of its blocks are 700 feet long. It stagnated, of course, beginning from the time it was built up. In Boston, the North End, which is a marvel of ÒwastefulÓ streets and ßuidity of cross-use, has been heroically unslumming itself against ofÞcial apathy and Þnancial opposition.The myth that plentiful city streets are Òwasteful,Ó one of the verities of orthodox planning, comes of course from the Garden City and Radiant City theorists who decried the use of land for streets because they wanted that land Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES 155consolidated instead into project prairies. This myth is especially destructive because it interferes intellectually with our ability to see one of the simplest, most unnecessary, and most easily corrected reasons for much stagnation and failure.Super-block projects are apt to have all the disabilities of long blocks, frequently in exaggerated form, and this is true even when they are laced with promenades and malls, and thus, in theory, possess streets at reasonable intervals through which people can make their way. These streets are meaningless because there is, seldom any active reason for a good cross-section of people to use them. Even in passive terms, simply as various alternative changes of scene in getting from here to yonder, these paths are meaningless because all their scenes are essentially the same. The situation is the opposite from that the New Yorker reporter no ticed in the blocks between Fifth and Sixth avenues. There peo ple try to hunt out streets which they need but which are missing. In projects, people are apt to avoid malls and cross-malls which are there, but are pointless.I bring up this problem not merely to berate the anomalies of project planning again, but to indicate that frequent streets and short blocks are valuable because of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighborhood. Frequent streets are not an end in themselves. They are a means toward an end. If that endÑgenerating diversity and catalyzing the plans of many people besides plannersÑis thwarted by too repressive zoning, or by regimented construction that precludes the ßexible growth of diversity, nothing signiÞcant can be accom plished by short blocks. Like mixtures of primary use, frequent streets are effective in helping to generate diversity only because of the way they perform. The means by which they work (at tracting mixtures of users along them) and the results they can help accomplish (the growth of diversity) are inextricably re lated. The relationship is reciprocal.PAGE 168Ð69Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.JANE JACOBS156Part Two: Chapter 10The need for aged buildingsCondition 3: The district must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones.Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. By old build ings I mean not museum-piece old buildings, not old buildings in an excellent and expensive state of rehabilitationÑalthough these make Þne ingredientsÑbut also a good lot of plain, ordinary, low-value old buildings, including some rundown old buildings.If a city area has only new buildings, the enterprises that can exist there are automatically limited to those that can support the high costs of new construction. These high costs of occupy ing new buildings may be levied in the form of rent, or they may be levied in the form of an ownerÕs interest and amortization payments on the capital costs of the construction. However the costs are paid off, they have to be paid off. And for this reason, enterprises that support the cost of new construction must be capable of paying a relatively high overheadÑhigh in comparison to that necessarily required by old buildings. To support such high overheads, the enterprises must be either (a) high proÞt or (b) well subsidized.If you look about, you will see that only operations that are well established, high-turnover, standardized or heavily subsidized can afford, commonly, to carry the costs of new construction. Chain stores, chain restaurants and banks go into new construc tion. But neighborhood bars, foreign restaurants and pawn shops go into older buildings. Supermarkets and shoe stores often go into new buildings; good bookstores and antique dealers seldom do. Well-subsidized opera and art museums often go into new buildings. But the unformalized feeders of the artsÑstudios, gal leries, stores for musical instruments and art supplies, backrooms where the low earning power of a scat and a table can absorb uneconomic discussionsÑthese go into old buildings. Perhaps more signiÞcant, hundreds of ordinary enterprises, necessary Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES 157to the safety and public life of streets and neighborhoods, and ap preciated for their convenience and personal quality, can make out successfully in old buildings, but are inexorably slain by the high overhead of new construction.As for really new ideas of any kindÑno matter how ultimately proÞtable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to beÑthere is no leeway for such chancy trial, error and experi mentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction. Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.Even the enterprises that can support new construction in cities need old construction in their immediate vicinity. Otherwise they are part of a total attraction and total environment that is eco nomically too limitedÑand therefore functionally too limited to be lively, interesting and convenient. Flourishing diversity any where in a city means the mingling of high-yield, middling-yield, low-yield and no-yield enterprises.The only harm of aged buildings to a city district or street is the harm that eventually comes of nothing but old ageÑthe harm that lies in everything being old and everything becoming worn out. But a city area in such a situation is not a failure because of being all old. It is the other way around. The area is all old be cause it is a failure. For some other reason or combination of rea sons, all its enterprises or people are unable to support new con struction. It has, perhaps, failed to hang on to its own people or enterprises that do become successful enough to support new building or rehabilitation; they leave when they become this suc cessful. It has also failed to attract newcomers with choice; they see no opportunities or attractions here. And in some cases, such an area may be so infertile economically that enterprises which might grow into successes in other places, and build or rebuild their shelter, never make enough money in this place to do so.A successful city district becomes a kind of ever-normal gran ary so far as construction is concerned. Some of the old buildings, year by year, are replaced by new onesÑor rehabilitated to a de gree equivalent to replacement. Over the years there is, therefore, constantly a mixture of buildings of many ages and types. This is, of course, a dynamic process, with what was once new in the mixture eventually becoming what is old in the mixture.PAGE 169Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.JANE JACOBS158We are dealing here again, as we were in the case of mixed primary uses, with the economic effects of time. But in this case we are dealing with the economics of time not hour by hour through the day, but with the economics of time by decades and generations.Time makes the high building costs of one generation the bar gains of a following generation. Time pays off original capital costs, and this depreciation can be reßected in the yields required from a building. Time makes certain structures obsolete for some enterprises, and they become available to others. Time can make the space efÞciencies of one generation the space luxuries of an other generation. One centuryÕs building commonplace is another centuryÕs useful aberration.Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.
Lange, A. (2012). Writing about architecture : Mastering the language of buildings and cities. Princeton Architectural Press.Created from mtholyoke on 2023-02-23 21:32:05.Copyright ? 2012. Princeton Architectural Press. All rights reserved.
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