The Death and Life of Great American Cities

It can be said that Jacobs is attempting to state that planning cities to the last, detail makes them thoroughly artificial and these environments also make the people living within them to behave in an artificial way. This means that people within these strictly planned cities end up living unnaturally. they do not have the opportunity to live their lives the way they would normally have done. The environment that has been created for them does not have the qualities that an environment, which has developed naturally, has within it. One of the most fundamental human characteristics is personal interaction, and this cannot be achieved in strictly planned cities. The creation of parks within such cities, to make them look natural, does not normally work. Human beings, in such situations, tend to shun such environments naturally, and in the process, they are rarely used. Therefore, parks end up not being put into the use they were meant to meaning that they have become useless to the residents of the city. In relation to this, Jacobs states the more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully….its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity. (Jacobs 111) Jacobs believes that cities have to be viewed as living beings and ecosystems, and as such have to be left to develop on their own. She makes the suggestion that as time goes by, the buildings, streets, and neighborhoods within the city naturally develop into organisms, which respond to the environment around them and adjust to it accordingly. In fact, they become such dynamic organisms that their response comes to depend on how the people interact with them and how they make use of them. Every element of the city, such as sidewalks and parks, as it develops, comes to have a specific function and each of these elements cannot function by themselves. Instead, they come to need each other to function, just as the various parts of an organism do. The ability of diverse elements of cities, to function systematically together, shows that cities are indeed natural ecosystems. According to Jacobs, it is therefore, necessary to let cities develop at their own time so that people can have a better understanding of how they work and how it is possible that these systems come to break down. With a better understanding of how cities function, it will be easier to structure them in such a way as to make them better. This understanding will also be instrumental in developing a healthy environment within which to live. The Philadelphia that is described in the book is a city, which has been structured to be entirely artificial. It is without life because most of the people who are supposed to be living there have either moved away are no longer interested in coming out of their homes. The effort to restructure old neighborhoods in this Philadelphia, although noble, does not consider the lives of the people living within such neighborhoods. Most of the people are poor and cannot possibly afford to live in a place such as the ones, which have replaced their homes. As a result, the majority of these people have to move away to find places that are cheaper to live within. The resulting restructuring of