Jane Jacobs, Tea Partier?

On the anniversary of Jane Jacobs birth 96 years ago, Anthony Flint explores the striking similarities between the planning doyenne and anti-planning agitators.
May 5, 2012, 9am PDT | newurban
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Flint looks at the complicated legacy that many of Jacobs' battles have left, from gentrification of Greenwich Village to overzealous Historic Preservation to the scourge of NIMBYism, and ends with a view of her principles as prescient of the Tea Party.

"Perhaps the greatest house-of-mirrors effect lies with the Tea Party, whose activists have been shutting down and disrupting planning meetings and public hearings across the country. Like Jane, these folks are anti-planning. Like Jane, there's a strong libertarian streak. The very tactics that brought about public participation are now being used by those with very different views from the progessive planners with the dog-eared copy of Death and Life on their shelf. Early on, from the battles over Washington Square Park to Lomex, Jane insisted on a singular guiding principle: no compromise. Don't accept the crumbs of mitigation in exchange for acquiescence. She didn't want a smaller highway - she wanted no highway. Jane Jacobs was a Tea Partier."

Thanks to Robert Steuteville

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Published on Friday, May 4, 2012 in Better! Cities & Towns
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