The readings were a discussion of Jane Jacobs’s perspectives on urban areas and placemaking by Anirban Adhya. Comments from Alan Berger were critical of her outside view, which was often seen as unprofessional, and also due to the fact that she was a woman expressing her opinion in the time period. Arguments like this were used to dismiss Jane Jacob’s commentary and discredit her as an advocate for non-traditional methods.
Jane Jacobs’s views as described by Anirban Adhya were focused on maintaining the “social, economic, and environmental diversity as essential components of a vibrant urban life (p. 217).” This went against the modern ideas of urban planners of the time who wanted to take the emphasis off the street and into more mathematical architectural and planning strategies.
Jacobs was focused on community involvement in order to create things for the community to enjoy. I think this is such an important part of placemaking that many organizations seem to overlook. The most successful placemaking projects are those that are vocalized by the community because otherwise, residents will not utilize it or engage with it. For projects that require sustaining or are put up for a purpose, it will just be a waste of space.
While attending the block party on Corso Garibaldi this past week, I saw how it was such a success because it was put on by residents for residents. It was in a central area, a city block where people already had a habit of congregating in. The small crowds turned into a huge mass of people gathered around to dance to the Reggae dj’s and the (slightly older) live musicians. Had it begun in a slightly different area, the party wouldn’t have been so successful, and it required the kind of local awareness that an outside planner might not have.