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Jane Jacob's "The Death and Life of Great American Cities"

Urban planning theorist Jane Jacobs comes from a long line of deductive thinkers that can be traced back to empiricists like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. In “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” she endeavors to apply such methods of inquiry to the modern American city. Just as Locke argued that the mind is a “tabula rasa,” Jacobs contends that most components of the urban landscape are not inherently badly or well designed; rather, the success or failure of such components — sidewalks, parks, blocks, neighborhoods — depends entirely on the surrounding environment in which they are deployed.

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