From my list on why neighborhoods still matter.
Who am I?
I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a neighborhood that was stable, safe, and stimulating. After my freshman year in college, I signed up for an “urban experience” in Detroit. It turned out to be the summer of the Detroit riots. I woke up to U.S. Army vehicles rumbling into the park across from my apartment. Over the next month, I witnessed the looting and burning of whole neighborhoods. I remember thinking: what a waste! Why are we throwing away neighborhoods like Kleenex? I have been trying to answer that question ever since.
Todd's book list on why neighborhoods still matter
Why did Todd love this book?
The book that propelled the fight against modernist city planning–think urban renewal or interstate highways–is still a thrill to read 62 years after its publication.
Generating most of her insights by walking the city streets and living in Greenwich Village, Jacobs shows how dense neighborhoods with diverse land uses generate valuable "weak ties" while avoiding the suffocating conformity of small towns.
Jacobs did not just talk the talk; she walked the walk–getting arrested for protesting Robert Moses’ plan to slice a highway through lower Manhattan. Embraced by both libertarians and progressive new urbanists, Jacobs still generates controversy, but you can feel her love for urban neighborhoods on every page.