Why did I love this book?
You simply cannot understand the city without understanding the society that brings it to life. Over six decades ago, Jane Jacobs upended the professions that governed, built, and increasingly destroyed cities by describing how cities do not thrive on drawing boards, but only as lived and altered by actual citizens. Her work is at once a manifesto against the status quo, a vivid description of the microcosm of urban life, and a manual for how to improve cities. Jacobs really opened my eyes to cities as systems of ‘organized complexity,’ essentially constantly re-materializing reflections of the many daily wishes and experiences of urban societies. While Jacobs laid the foundation of modern urban science with this statement, we still struggle to understand, accommodate, and leverage her desired urban complexity today.