Jane Jacobs: Neighborhoods in Action / Active Living Network

Here is a video interview, produced by Active Living Network, with famed author and social activist .  In 1961, Jacobs published The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a bold response to the city planning strategies of her time and the proposals by planners such as .  She used her real-world experiences and observations from her own street in the West Village of New York City to comment on how people interacted in neighborhoods – which areas were busiest, safest and most conducive to living.  In this video, Jacobs gives insight into how cities can bounce back from the environment created by the automobile through simple and affordable means such as “tree planting, traffic taming and community events”.

Read on for more after the break.

Learning from the slums (2/2): the rediscovery

The model #1: Napoli, quartieri Spagnoli (image: flickr)

If the mainstream view on the slums describes them as places to escape from and as to destroy as soon as possible, more and more people look at slums in a different way.

The first glances at slums were from some of the architects involved in urban renewal projects, who started to integrate in their projects some elements of the slums. Some of the recurrent features are:

  • narrow courtyards and alleys
  • division of the building into small blocks
  • use of different colors and materials within the same building.

(part 1/2)