Jane Jacobs died today at the age of 89.

Just yesterday, while preparing my “Small is still beautiful” post, I found myself groping for her two masterpieces, The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities. I couldn’t find them, because I had loaned them out — I’ve been an ardent promoter of her works since I first discovered them more than ten years ago. My dog-eared copies of them have probably spent more time on the shelves of friends who I’ve foisted them on than my own.

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May her death inspire a resurgence of interest in her work, particularly among greens. I hope over the next days to find time to write an appreciation of her.

Everyone who loves the chaos of a well-functioning city street — and understands the vast environmental benefits of cities — should bow east in the direction of her beloved Greenwich Village, and north toward her adopted home of Toronto.

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