Community-based Inspiration: Jane Jacobs’ 100th Birthday

Jane Jacobs Google Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 7.17.55 PM
Google Screenshot on Jane Jacobs’ 100th Birthday

Who was that charming lady on the Google search page?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016, marked 100 years since the birth of Jane JacobsJane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urban writer and activist who championed new, community-based approaches to planning for more than 40 years.  She loved cities and, while she never studied urban planning, Jacobs considered herself a scientist, methodically analyzing what worked in cities and what did not.  Her first book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, was published in 1961, one of the first critiques of contemporary large-scale urban renewal and read widely by students, professionals and passionate downtown fans.

Jacobs approached cities as ecosystems, championing mixed-use development, bottom-up community planning and local economies. Today her city-loving spirit moves through the National Main Street Network, promoting grassroots, preservation-based revitalization of urban and rural commercial districts, where community, authenticity, diversity and local commerce flourish.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” – Jane Jacobs

Go on and search “Jane Jacobs” on the Web, and I bet you will read something to strum your downtown heartstrings.