Monthly Archives: January 2010

Jane Jacobs, Gentrifier?

I came across this post on Planetizen. It provides an interesting perspective and touched on an issue that I’ve long wrestled with: authenticity, preservation and organic development. From the article: “just what does authenticity mean, and who is really allowed to claim it?”

Jane Jacobs, Gentrifier?
Posted by: Tim Halbur
11 January 2010 – 9:00am

Prof. Sharon Zukin argues that Jacobs had “a gentrifier’s appreciation of urban authenticity” in her new book, Naked City.

Zukin tackles the issue of gentrification and the people who lay claim to the authenticity of neighborhoods, particularly in New York. She finds no easy answers, but does believe in the quest to preserve authenticity.

In the New York Post: “In the end, New York City development revolves around who successfully claims ownership of a neighborhood. Conflict arises when ‘groups representing the opposing visions claim the same space,’ Zukin says, especially in ‘the conflict over authentic representations of neighborhoods like Red Hook, between old working-class homeowners, public housing project tenants, and gentrifiers.'”

Full Story: Naked City

Source: New York Post, January 10, 2010

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Quick Take: GOOD.is on Jane Jacobs—’Reading a City’

From GOOD.is, The Slow Issue.  Originally posted by Alissa Walker on January 13, 2010 at 7:00 am PST

Reading a City

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How the built environment instructs us on how to move through it

Greene Street Jane Jacobs wrote about the “ballet” of the street when describing the rhythm of her Greenwich Village neighborhood, which she viewed as a choreographed exchange between resident and sidewalk, and shopkeeper and stoop. Not too far away, Greene Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood pulses with the same syncopated footsteps and echoes of Jacobs’s legacy. She prevented this entire neighborhood from becoming the Lower Manhattan Expressway—now cars shudder down the street, forced into submission by century-old cobblestones. The former cast-iron warehouses have been fashioned into frilly storefronts for the well-heeled (and often high-heeled) who stop, gape up at their pillared facades; pause; peer into the jewel-like windows; and are rewarded with detail…

More here

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