Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Jane Jacobs Moment

Classic signs that a city is dying:
  • Decline in the number of enterprises in the city
  • Persistent growth in the underemployed
  • Growth of make-work in city bureaucracies
  • Piling up of undone work and unsolved practical problems
  • Lack of new kinds of manufacturing to compensate for the losses of old
  • Compulsive repetition of existing ways of doing things 
  • Lack of local development capital for new goods and services
  • Surfeit of capital for projects that destroy existing enterprises and jobs
  • Quantities of capital for export
How many cities in the United States exhibit these symptoms? How can cities make things better for themselves and for rural America as well? The answers lie in the brilliant ideas of Jane Jacobs. For more of her insight see The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities.

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