Jane Jacobs, 1916-2006

There are very few public figures whom I would mourn more than Jane Jacobs. She died this morning in her adopted home of Toronto, where she moved with her family from New York City so that her son would not be drafted during the Vietnam war. Of course, her life and letters are well known by most anyone reading Polis, but her impact has been so personal for me and many others. Reading a magazine interview with Jane Jacobs many years ago led me to The Death and Life of Great American Cities (her seminal work published in 1961, although it reads as if it could have been written last year), which then took my journalism career in the direction of urban planning and design, economic development, and all the concomitant issues of city life. She was a maven for citizens everywhere.

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