Jane Jacobs: "Teeth will be provided"


A great quote from urban observer Jane Jacobs, who has a new book out, and whose Death and Life of Great American Cities will get a "BatesLine Bookshelf" entry one of these days:

New York still has so much pizzazz, because people make it new every day. Like all cities, itís self-organizing. People looking for a date on Third Avenue make it into a place full of hope and expectation, and this has nothing to do with architecture. Those are the emotions that draw us to cities, and they depend on things being a bit messy. The most perfectly designed place canít compete. Everything is provided, which is the worst thing we can provide. Thereís a joke that the father of an old friend used to tell, about a preacher who warns children, "In Hell there will be wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth." "What if you donít have teeth?" one of the children asks. "Then teeth will be provided," he says sternly. Thatís itóthe spirit of the designed city: Teeth Will Be Provided for You.

Thanks to Marvin Olasky in World Magazine's blog who linked to an entry on Blog9 which linked to the New Yorker's Talk of the Town item on Jane Jacobs.

And here is a link to blog9's account of Jane Jacobs' recent talk promoting her new book.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 13, 2004 1:41 AM.

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