- Taschenbuch: 288 Seiten
- Verlag: Vintage; Auflage: Vintage Books. (12. Februar 1970)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 039470584X
- ISBN-13: 978-0394705842
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,9 x 1,5 x 18,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 104.232 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Economy of Cities (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Februar 1970
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Mehr über den Autor
"The Economy of Cities is an astonishing book. It blows cobwebs from the mind, and challenges assumptions one hadn't even realized one had made. It should prove of major importance."
-- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"This book is radiant with ideas about what makes cities rich or poor, how cities grow, and how city growth affects national economies."
-- The New Yorker
"What Mrs. Jacobs has done ... is to begin to formulate a badly needed urban myth for our now almost urbanized society...."
-- Herbert J. Gans, New Republic
"The book is... timely, and if it will irritate some of the experts it will also help bring some neglected issues and theories into public focus. This ... has always been Mrs. Jacobs' most notable taient and her most constructive contribution."
-- Charles Abrams, The New York Times Book Review
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Jane Jacobs was the legendary author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a work that has never gone out of print and that has transformed the disciplines of urban planning and city architecture. Her other major works include The Economy of Cities, Systems of Survival, The Nature of Economies and Dark Age Ahead. She died in 2006.
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Most reformers, many of whom start out with earnest good intentions, end up wreaking havoc and plunging their countries into tyranny because they attack their countries' economic problems from the wrong end. Most reformers in recent history, from Pancho Villa, through Stalin and Mao, down to current day missionaries - set out to "help" struggling economies by first digging into the dirt of the poorest rural areas. They assume that change must start in the agricultural sector. So they reapportion land; they attempt to introduce modern technology to subsistence farmers; they establish schools, clinics, and communal wells in the rural areas. But often, these efforts come to naught. Indeed they frequently backfire and leave area residents worse off than before.
A typical scenario of the type Jacobs cites - a volunteer worker sets up a well in a parched rural area of some Third World country. But soon after the volunteer leaves, a valve in the well breaks. And there is no way for local residents to get a replacement valve. There is no nearby urban industry to supply valves or any other replacement parts for anything. So the well stagnates, becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and a hazard.
Jacobs illustrates why these good will projects so often fail. There is no surrounding urban industry to back them up, to supply all the quirky, often small but oh-so-necessary parts to rural endeavor. Urban areas are also necessary as markets for rural produce. Without recourse to diverse urban economies, virtually all rural areas will fail to thrive in the long run, no matter how much charitable reform is pumped into them.
Jacobs goes further. She illustrates how the very idea of agriculture, as well as most advances in agricultural technique likely STARTED in denser urban areas. This is the most controversial, frequently contested idea in her book. Most people are geared to dismiss urban areas as being devoid of "nature. But the reverse is actually true. There is often more flora, more planting activity, more wildlife and domestic animal husbandry, more agricultural cross-fertilization of all kinds going on in cities than in rural areas. But because the city is by definition "urban," people don't see it and continue to feel they must escape to rural areas in order to experience nature.
However, even if you are of this frame of mind, and if you therefore trip on Jacobs' early contentions about the primacy of cities - I urge you to keep reading. You may not end up being completely convinced, but you will come away with a new tool kit of ideas that you can apply in a myriad of ways as a citizen of the world.
Any politician who will have to make decisions touching on the national or global economy should definitely read this book. Everyone from well-intentioned celebrity reformers down to individuals who simply send a few dollars a month to Guatemalan waifs should read this book, and learn how they might redirect some of their future contributions into more sustainable projects. Every voter should read this book. It's a well-written, interesting book that gives insights into how an economy can develop and diversify into vitality. It suggests definite solutions. In short, it's a book for everyone.
The comparison of Manchester and Birmingham was great. I think Ms. Jacobs is basically correct with her analysis of what it takes to make a vibrant, prosperous city. Her basic recommendations for city layout--small, short blocks, high concentrations of people walking, a mix of buildings of various types and ages--are very good. She is right on point with her criticism of urban renewal programs and freeways.
Ms. Jacobs' analysis of how business development occurs is fun to read and very relevant to today. She makes it very clear that rural towns that try to develop by attracting a local assembly plant or the like for a large company are barking up the wrong tree.
The book has some problems. Ms. Jacobs dismisses problems with resource depletion far too easily as the product of a stagnant economy. She also dismisses population growth, seeing it as a symptom of a growing economy, not a problem. There is of course some truth to this, but in my opinion migration is perfectly adequate to take care of local labor shortages. The side effects of nationwide and worldwide population growth are too severe to be treated lightly as Ms. Jacobs does.