Shifting Jacobsian and Moses views on cities

This must be the most used image on this topic!

Fascinating juxtaposition: a critique of Jane Jacob's mythologized New York City, exemplified by the West Village, and a 1962 Atlantic article written by Robert Moses, criticizing those who say cities are dying. (Thanks NB!) I don't conflate Jane Jacobs with gentrification, but I do think that just as there is Disney-fication, there is also West Village-fication.

Sometimes I have a chance to visit a main street or downtown in another town or smaller city, and I can see why people might think that the West Village model might be good. But there are usually other factors that have been forgotten in the rush to replicate and make money (not that money isn't needed to run a municipality). Sometimes it's figuring out what the actual community assets are first though - imposing another city's model of a village or development is just as bad as turning a main street into a highway.



Metropolis by Rob Carter - Last 3 minutes from Rob Carter.

via The Publics, Of Parking Lots and Automobiles, also worth reading.


Key to the City

Sounds neat.

Key to the City
by Paul Ramírez Jonas
A FREE public art project presented by Creative Time in cooperation with the City of New York.
June 3 to 27, 2010
Get your Key in Times Square
Broadway between 43rd and 44th Streets
Open M–F 2p–8p; Sa–Su 12p–8p

6p to 8p

The city is a series of spaces that are either open or closed. Whether one can access these spaces or not is determined by a lock, and those locks are opened by keys. The Key to the City is an opportunity for the public to step back and reflect on this as they travel throughout the five boroughs of New York.