The Polarity of Moses and Jacobs

There are two magnetic poles in the realm of urban planning: Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. But do we have to always be stuck in this tug-of-war?

This piece from Urban Omnibus delves into the polarity between Moses and Jacobs and wonders whether there might be a way to refresh the debate.

"Both the excesses of Robert Moses and the achievements of Jane Jacobs have been well rehearsed by now. The particulars of their battle are specific to their time and place but its legacy remains relevant and has become even more urgent. In the intervening years, many in the architecture and planning community have reached a sensible consensus that 'No city can survive without the personal engagements beloved by Jacobs, but no city can thrive without master builders such as Moses,' as Edward Glaeser put it in his article in The New Republic last year.

The argument for this balanced view has been eloquently made by a number of critics. They also take pains to remind us that the "good" Moses, who left a legacy of numerous parkland and infrastructure projects still benefiting the public, and who actually managed to get things built, should not be lost in the heat of the battle. But in the real world Jane Jacobs has carried the day."

Full Story: Forever Trapped Between Jacobs and Moses

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