Jane Jacobs Overextends Herself
It is fortunate for our world that Jane Jacobs found ideology so late in her life. It is quite plausible that, had she been so ideological at a younger age, she might have ruined her earlier, seminal works with the rigid assumptions, logical fallacies, and contrived evidence that that permeates Systems of Survival.
Edit 2020—I find it interesting that I didn’t think The Death and Life of Great American Cities was an ideological book. Certainly the ideology wasn’t as naked as it was in Systems of Survival but it was absolutely there. If there’s any lesson, it’s that Urban Planning of the 1960s needed the critique from Jacobs’ ideological position. It was dominated by a belief that centralized city planning and architecture could solve our problems. The problem with Systems of Survival wasn’t that Jane Jacobs changed, but that the world changed.