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A new book by influential urbanist Jane Jacobs, released in Jacobs' centenary, and showing her evolution as a writer and thinker. Vital Little Plans will bring together for the first time a selection of essays, articles, speeches and interviews by the late Jane Jacobs. These works shed light on the development of the ideas she made famous in her best-known works, The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities, while expanding upon familiar themes with new insights. Some works also explore topics rarely directly addressed in her major works, from skyscrapers to feminism to universal health care to gentrification. Readers will find classics like her breakout article "Downtown Is for People" and a host of previously unpublished or obscure articles, speeches, and lectures that follow her entire career, from her early journalistic investigations into the specialty industries of New York City and the neighbourhoods that harboured them, to her critiques of the urban renewal regime, to her iconoclastic takes on economics, separatism, regulation, and the environment. Most importantly, it will reveal Jacobs as she herself wished to be understood: as a writer who tried to observe human life as closely as she could. The book showcases the rhythm of Jacobs' career. "A City Naturalist" collects articles from her early years in New York, where she honed her distinctive style and her interest in the commercial and everyday life of cities. "City Building" critiques contemporary architecture, city planning and urban renewal. In "How New Work Begins," she explores the economic foundations of flourishing city life, and the environmental and political implications of city growth. "The Ecology of Cities" weaves ethics, government regulation and social justice into her system of thought, and gives her integrated approach a name: "the ecology of cities." In "The Unfinished Business of Jane Jacobs," she revisits ideas from throughout her career in the context of current challenges, and turns her gaze to the uncertain future of human life.
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