Robert Moses vs. Jane Jacobs, go to the Opera

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Jane Butzner. JACOBS

Jane Butzner Jacobs (Scranton, Pennsylvania, May 4, 1916 - Toronto, April 25, 2006) was a scientific disseminator, theoretical urbanism and Canadian socio-political activist, born in the United States.

Her most influential work was The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), which harshly criticizes the practices of urban renewal in the 1950s in the United States, whose planners assumed ideal schematic models which she led to the destruction of space public. Using innovative and interdisciplinary scientific methods (from both social sciences and natural sciences), the author identified the causes of violence in everyday urban life, as it were subject to abandonment or, conversely, good food, safety and quality of life.

Her ideas about the spontaneous self-organization of urbanism were applied in the later concept of emergent systems.

In addition to his literary work, Jacobs noted for her activism in organizing self-defined as spontaneous social movements (grassroots), aimed at paralyzing the urban projects she understood that destroyed local communities. First in the US, where she won the cancellation of Lower Manhattan Expressway; and later in Canada, where she emigrated in 1968 and where she got the Spadina Expressway cancellation and the motorway network that sought to build.

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