The Jacobs Legacy

Jarrett Murphy reviews The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs" by Roberta Brandes Gratz, and concludes that it is a nuanced interpretation of the classic showdown.

Murphy says that the book features Gratz herself front and center, relating the planning debates of the past to those of the present. While she is unabashedly on the side of public process, she sees that some large projects need to get built for the good of the whole. But as Murphy writes, "the greatest engine of resurgence has been small-scale community efforts":

"The public, writes Gratz, 'has come to understand their right and value in being part of the process that leads to change. This is vintage Jane. Public process, on the other hand, was anathema to Moses.' She adds later: 'If you accept the centrality of the idea of people being the best engine of change, then what is critical is removing the kind of impediments that thwart the capacity of the people.'"

Full Story: Moses, Jacobs And You: The Battle For Gotham


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