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Social-Ecological Urbanism and the Life of Baltic Cities
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental engineering. Stockholm Resilience Centre .
2016 (English)In: The Nature of Cities, Vol. 2016Article, review/survey (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [en]

Jane Jacobs critiqued modernist city planning in the now classic book The Death and Life of Great American Cities(1961). This book is now inspiring an urban renaissance. Jacobs proposed that a city must be understood as a system of organized complexity—in other words, as an ecosystem—and that any intervention in the urban fabric with a lack of such understanding is bound to result in unexpected surprises. Trained in zoology, Jacobs viewed the city much like a coral reef, where co-evolutionary dynamics between the coral organisms (the people) and the coral reef (the built environment) result in the emergence of a socio-spatial logic that can support various kind of functions and opportunities for people.

First line of urban scholarship based on ecological thought

Blueprint planning based on ideals such as Le Corbusier’s “The Shining City,” or Sir Ebenezer Howard’s “The Garden City,” Jacobs argued, is likely to fail since it lacks the critical understanding of the city as a complex socio-spatial system. Spatial morphology thinking (Hillier and Hanson, 1984) provided a precision and an analytical depth to the insights of Jane Jacobs. Density, accessibility and diversity are outlined as the main features of spatial capital for people in cities (Marcus, 2010), which are akin to insights in ecosystem ecology, where species diversity, species abundance and ecological connectivity are critical features.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 2016
National Category
Social Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21838OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21838DiVA: diva2:941075
Available from: 2016-06-21 Created: 2016-06-21 Last updated: 2016-12-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf