Quick Take: Dave Byrne on Mixed Use

In a recent Wall Street Journal column, former Talking Heads front man David Byrne discusses the elements that he would expect in a ‘perfect city’ and gives examples of cities that exemplifies his preferred qualities. and those that don’t.  One of the elements he discusses is  Jane Jacobs principle of ‘mixed uses’:

Mixed use

David Bryne in Budapest.  Photo by Natalie Kuhn

David Bryne in Budapest. Photo by Natalie Kuhn

This is a Jane Jacobs phrase. A perfect city is where different things are going on, relatively close to each other, at different times of the day. A city isn’t a strip of hotels and restaurants on a glorious beach; it’s a place where there are restaurants and hotels, but also little stores, fashion boutiques, schools, houses, offices, temples and banks. The healthy neighborhood doesn’t empty out at 6 p.m., as most of downtown L.A. does. In my perfect city there would always be something going on nearby.

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