[via article by treehugger.comand wikipedia.com]
Jane Jacobs was an American-born Canadian writer and activist. She is best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a powerful critique of the urban renewal policies of the 1950s in the United States. The book has been credited with reaching beyond planning issues to influence the spirit of the times.
She believed that residential and commercial activity should be in the same place, that the safest neighbourhoods teem with life, short winding streets are better than long straight ones, low-rise housing is better than impersonal towers, that a neighbourhood is where people talk to one another. She liked the small-scale.
If you haven't read the book...you should definitely check it out. Available at Amazon . com
+ treehugger article
+ Jim Kunstler interview with Jane Jacobs for Metropolis 2001