Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of thoughts and quotes by Jane Jacobs on cities, poverty, parks, life, slum, urban, planning, prosperity, design, Detroit, sidewalks and pedestrians.

23 Top Jane Jacobs Quotes That Serve As Verbatim For Urban Planning

Quick Facts

Famous As: Journalist, Author, Activist

Born On: May 4, 1916

Died On: April 25, 2006

Born In: Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Died At Age: 89

Jane Jacobs was an American journalist, activist and author, who spent the latter part of her life in Canada. She is particularly well-known for her views on the evolution of cities from societal point of view. She graduated from Scranton High School and then attended Columbia University’s School of General Studies, before embarking on a career with the magazine named ‘Iron Age’. Jacobs is most renowned for having been a vocal opponent of development efforts in New York City and working at the grassroots level in order to lodge her protest against slum clearance efforts in the city. One of her most noted efforts was that of protesting against the building of the Lower Manhattan Expressway that would have had significant effect on the populations in SoHo. She was even arrested during those protests. Jacobs is most well-known for having penned the book ‘The Life and Death of Great American Cities’, published in 1961. The book highlighted that most of the urban development efforts did not take into account the suffering of those who lived in the city. This book remains one of the most distinguished books on the subject. Jacobs was without doubt a deep thinker and one of the most important advocates of responsible town planning. Here is a collection of some of her most important quotes which have been excerpted from her work, books, writings, interviews, sppeches and life. Read on the thoughts, sayings and quotations by Jane Jacobs that will foster new gusto in you.

Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.

Jane Jacobs

To seek "causes" of poverty in this way is to enter an intellectual dead end because poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes.

Jane Jacobs

By its nature, the metropolis provides what otherwise could be given only by traveling; namely, the strange.

Jane Jacobs

Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities.

Jane Jacobs

There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans.

Jane Jacobs

You can't rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.

Jane Jacobs

[Cities] are not like suburbs, only denser. They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of these is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.

Jane Jacobs

...frequent streets and short blocks are valuable because of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighbouhood.

Jane Jacobs

Being human is itself difficult, and therefore all kinds of settlements (except dream cities) have problems. Big cities have difficulties in abundance, because they have people in abundance.

Jane Jacobs

We expect too much of new buildings, and too little of ourselves.

Jane Jacobs

Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves.

Jane Jacobs

(The psuedoscience of planning seems almost neurotic in its determination to imitate empiric failure and ignore empiric success.)

Jane Jacobs

The trouble with paternalists is that they want to make impossibly profound changes, and they choose impossibly superficial means for doing so.

Jane Jacobs

Everyone is aware that tremendous numbers of people concentrate in city downtowns and that, if they did not, there would be no downtown to amount to anything--certainly not one with much downtown diversity.

Jane Jacobs

Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.

Jane Jacobs

It has long been recognized that getting an education is effective for bettering oneself and one's chances in the world. But a degree and an education are not necessarily synonymous.

Jane Jacobs

The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public sidewalk contacts... Most of it is ostensibly trivial but the sum is not trivial at all.

Jane Jacobs

As in the pseudoscience of bloodletting, just so in the pseudoscience of city rebuilding and planning, years of learning and a plethora of subtle and complicated dogma have arisen on a foundation of nonsense.

Jane Jacobs

A vigorous culture capable of making corrective,stabilizing changes depends heavily on its educated people, and especially upon their critical capacities and depth of understanding.

Jane Jacobs

When distance and convenience sets in; the small, the various and the personal wither away.

Jane Jacobs

This is both a gloomy and a hopeful book.

Jane Jacobs

The Puerto Ricans who come to our cities today have no place to roast pigs outdoors...

Jane Jacobs