The death and life of smart cities
DOI link for The death and life of smart cities
The death and life of smart cities book
The title of this chapter is taken from the challenge posed by Jane Jacobs in her influential book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1993 ). To explore the way that problems and cities are dealt with, the chapter looks at the urban problems in the context of the field of urban planning through the lens of Jacobs’ work. Whilst Jacobs is known as someone who brought a deep understanding of the role of people and communities into the study of the urban, she was also was a systems thinker. For Jacobs, cities were a challenge of organized complexity in which people and community were central. This chapter seeks to reflect on the role of cities as both the source of problems but more importantly as offering solutions, and draws on the examples of Jacobs’ study of her neighbourhood in New York and Sidewalk Lab’s plans for Waterfront Toronto. If, as Jacobs states in the quote at the start of this section, it is a matter of knowing what sort of problem cities are, this chapter seeks to address this challenge, by asking what kind of problem a city is. To do this the text explores how systems thinking underpins different planning theories, and discusses the resulting implications for how we might start to thinking differently about the design and planning of smart cities.