Jane Jacobs, Quantified: Exploring the Legacy of the 20th Century’s Most Provocative Urban Theorist
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This paper attempts to accomplish three goals: to estimate Jacobs’ impact on urban planning, to investigate the evidence for Jacobs’ theories, and to point out the questions raised by Jacobs’ work that have never been answered. To these ends, the paper is divided into three parts. The first part of this paper will paint a brief picture of Jane Jacobs’ life and work, and provide an assessment of her influence on past, present, and future planners. The second part provides an analysis of the empirical literature on urban form that has emerged since The Death and Life was written. The final part of the paper will point out Jacobs’ unanswered questions, and attempt to address the inherent limits to our understanding of the city.