The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Author: Jane Jacobs

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9781448180288

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 425

In this classic text, Jane Jacobs set out to produce an attack on current city planning and rebuilding and to introduce new principles by which these should be governed. The result is one of the most stimulating books on cities ever written. Throughout the post-war period, planners temperamentally unsympathetic to cities have been let loose on our urban environment. Inspired by the ideals of the Garden City or Le Corbusier's Radiant City, they have dreamt up ambitious projects based on self-contained neighbourhoods, super-blocks, rigid 'scientific' plans and endless acres of grass. Yet they seldom stop to look at what actually works on the ground. The real vitality of cities, argues Jacobs, lies in their diversity, architectural variety, teeming street life and human scale. It is only when we appreciate such fundamental realities that we can hope to create cities that are safe, interesting and economically viable, as well as places that people want to live in. 'Perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning... Jacobs has a powerful sense of narrative, a lively wit, a talent for surprise and the ability to touch the emotions as well as the mind' New York Times Book Review
Drug Policy and the Decline of the American City

Author: Sam Staley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351521581

Category: Social Science

Page: 294

View: 902

The drug trade is a growth industry in most major American cities, fueling devastated inner-city economies with revenues in excess of $100 billion. In this timely volume, Sam Staley provides a detailed, in-depth analysis of the consequences of current drug policies, focusing on the relationship between public policy and urban economic development and on how the drug economy has become thoroughly entwined in the urban economy. The black market in illegal drugs undermines essential institutions necessary for promoting long-term economic growth, including respect for civil liberties, private property, and nonviolent conflict resolution. Staley argues that America's cities can be revitalized only through a major restructuring of the urban economy that does not rely on drug trafficking as a primary source of employment and income-the inadvertent outcome of current prohibitionist policy. Thus comprehensive decriminalization of the major drugs (marijuana, cocaine, and heroin) is an important first step toward addressing the economic and social needs of depressed inner cities. Staley demonstrates how decriminalization would refocus public policy on the human dimension of drug abuse and addiction, acknowledge that the cities face severe development problems that promote underground economic activity, and reconstitute drug policy on principles consistent with limited government as embodied in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Designed to cross disciplinary boundaries, Staley's provocative analysis will be essential reading for urban policymakers, sociologists, economists, criminologists, and drug-treatment specialists.