Death of Great American Cities

Death of Great American Cities - F igur e Death of Great...

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Figure Death of Great American Cities Leea Felton Mosaics II Sec 01 Spring 2011 Professor J. Benin
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The view of American cities has for decades been one from an erroneous perspective. One that architects, and city planners, solely believe, and act upon despite their obvious failure, and lack of common sense thinking. Jane Jacobs, American writer, whom broke into the literary world without college education or a degree, attacks these close minded plans, with rudimentary principals, that if followed could quite possibly reshape the entire purpose, and well being of the city. My finings however, reveal a completely different result of Jacob’s ideas, in fact despite her efforts, here in Philadelphia there exist illusions of neighborhoods. It is clear to all who read Jacob’s “The Death and Life of Two Cities” that four crucial elements must exist for a city to flourish. However decades after this renowned book was written, and several ideas proved to be true, there are dozens, hundreds even, of American cities, who are not only dying, but have been “revived” into something else. I have traveled through the “heart” of Philadelphia from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, down Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and into Love Park, examining what we consider the city, finding that the area lacks three of the four generators of diversity; shorter blocks, mixed occupancy, and a variety of old and new buildings. The first and most noticeable feature seen when near the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the lack of surrounding facilities that differ in nature. Jacobs reveals in chapter seven her solution to provide “a mixture of uses…to be sufficiently complex to sustain city safety, public contact and cross-use. (144)” This solution is categorized as “mixed occupancy,” it is the idea of having more than one purpose for a certain area, one that has a diversity of stores and will continuously attack a steady flow of people. The area around the Philadelphia Museum of art is severely
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Death of Great American Cities - F igur e Death of Great...

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