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February 26, 2009
Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card #10-13
Noticing New York
City planners constantly wrestle with the question WWJD (what would Jane do?).
Though the celebrated urban activist and author Jane Jacobs passed away before handing out a detailed report card on Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards eminent domain-abusing superblock megaproject, her research and groundbreaking books provide enough information for acolytes to fill in the blanks.
Blogger Michael D. D. White continues his series (links and excerpts below):
Jane Jacobs calls for cities to be constructed with intricate and close-grained diversity of uses that give each other constant mutual support both economically and socially. Atlantic Yards, and the Ratner Metrotech and the Atlantic Centers do not incorporate such close grained and intricate features.
Jane Jacobs calls for cities to be constructed gradually so as not to lose the existing intricate and close-grained diversity of uses that has built up slowly and organically and does not replace itself easily. Atlantic Yards, which is planned to be under construction continuously until finished will be the opposite of a gradual event, partly because of its concentrated scale and partly because, rather than integrate with existing fabric, it goes out of its way to tear down existing fabric and replace it in one sudden “swoop.”
Jane Jacobs objects to projects being constructed in a self-isolating way, apart from the weave of the city fabric, which is the way that Atlantic Yards is proposed to be built and the way that Ratner’s Metrotech was built.
Jane Jacobs suggests that cities must provide fluidity which means that different sections of the city should work together in multiplying options and choice for the city’s dwellers in general. There is no evidence that Atlantic Yards (or Metrotech) is creating any new options for living or working that people will utilize.
Posted by lumi at February 26, 2009 4:44 AM