Courtesy of “Going Solar“, here are a number of extracts from an address made by famous urban writer Jane Jacobs, to the New York Motor Bus Association in 1958. 52 years later, her words still seem incredibly appropriate.
I swing between being incredibly inspired and incredibly depressed by what Jane Jacobs writes. Inspired because she is just so extremely right, and it’s fantastic that someone has put into words exactly my feelings on what the problems are with urban planning and urban transport matters. But I feel depressed because she was saying all this 50 odd years ago, and what she said then is just as valid – if not more valid – today. I think that either she’s one of the most influential urban writers ever – because she was the first to raise many of the issues now preoccupying urban planners; or she has been completely uninfluential – because we’re still stuffing things up in exactly the same way we were 50 years ago.
I’ll leave you to decide.