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The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs was a student of the American city. She observed what made them work, where they failed, and how they thrive. As an outsider to existing "urban planning" in New York City, she realized that the way we design cities in America limits their potential. Instead of focusing on theory, her urban philosophy is firmly rooted in reality — building practical rules that play out again and again. Fundamentally, this is a book about diversity: the kind that ensures streets are always active, people are safe, and humans thrive. If you're interested in urban planning and haven't read Jacobs, please do.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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