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Jane Jacobs and Women as Planners & Critics

Roberta Brandes Gratz has something to say in The Atlantic Cities on the unique qualifications of women planners and urban critics. In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Gratz discusses the planning establishment's treatment of Jacobs and their frequent attempts to downgrade her insights to those of an unlearned housewife. Years back, in pondering why men are better heard on the subject of city building, Jacobs concluded that women think about things close to home and in increments. Men produce big plans with national or global implications in a top-down fashion. There's generally not a lot of common ground. This was also how she contrasted herself in public life. While much has changed, much remains the same. [The Atlantic Cities]