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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3W08WW0C

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The Idea of Place: Space and Culture 20th Anniversary Conference

What Would Jane Jacobs Do? Protecting Public Space in The Dark Age (PPT) Open Access

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Author or creator
Kristine Kowalchuk
Eric Gormley
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
public space
urbanism
Jane Jacobs
Edmonton
transportation
footbridge
Type of item
Conference/workshop Presentation
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
The best public spaces, Jane Jacobs emphasized, are those that develop organically, over time, and serve mixed uses. These spaces cannot be artificially created and are never “complete,” but rather experience a constant process of incremental change, gradually accumulating layers of meaning. They are thus central to a community’s culture, sense of identity and belonging, and physical and mental wellbeing. Yet, because they take shape slowly and quietly, and perhaps even because they so seamlessly fit into the community, they can be taken for granted. And because their value cannot be directly measured, and because they are complex and hard to define in terms of meaning and even spatial boundaries, they are difficult to defend against threatened replacement by grand, “city-building” projects. This was as true in Jane Jacobs’s times as it is in our own. Yet winning protection of these spaces—which are arguably increasingly important to provide a sense of rootedness amidst the rapid pace of change of the twenty-first-century—is perhaps more complicated than it was in Jane Jacobs’s time due to the very things she predicted in her last book, Dark Age Ahead (2004): breakdown of community and family; decay of higher education; inability to discern credible science; disintegration of tax systems and government responsiveness to citizen's needs; and lack of self-regulation by the learned professions. This presentation will analyze a case study of the Cloverdale Footbridge in Edmonton—a popular public space whose demolition for an LRT line is underway—and apply Jane Jacobs’s thinking in an attempt to provide a framework for winning protection of such spaces in this Dark Age.
Date created
2017/17/16
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3W08WW0C
License information
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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2017-07-16T19:59:18.030+00:00
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Last modified: 2017:07:16 13:59:23-06:00
Filename: Idea of Place PPT Presentation.pptx
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