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New York City Zoning Regulations Vs The Death and Life of American Great Cities - Assignment Example

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Jane Jacobs, a writer and activist, in her book; The Death and Life of American Great Cities, criticizes the 20th century urban planning policy which she says lead to the decline of a number of cities in the neighborhoods in United States of America…
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New York City Zoning Regulations Vs The Death and Life of American Great Cities
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Download file to see previous pages The New York City Zoning Regulations provides rules and guidelines for shaping the city. If compared to architecture and planning, zoning has a short history in it being a means of organizing how land is used. Zoning puts into place the use and size of buildings, the location of the buildings and to a greater extent the diverse neighborhoods’ density of the city. In line with the city’s tax, ability to budget and property condemnation, zoning is an important tool for undertaking planning policy.
New York City is known to be a pioneer regarding zoning from the time the first nation’s comprehensive zoning was enacted in 1916. Considering the New York City zoning regulations, we can gauge that, some of these regulations reflect what Jane Jacobs is talking about in her book while some regulations do not reflect her ideas as we are going to discuss them. In her book, Jacobs praised density and concentration as opposed to dispersal and decentralization. Jacobs announces that housing activist Catherine Bauer has derived a perfect term meant for attacking regional planners for example Lewis Mumford. Decentrists proposed decentralizing big cities like New York. They wanted to squeeze them, disorient their enterprises, and dislocate their populations into smaller and separated cities. Decentrists felt that urban streets are bad environment for humans; hence, they recommended building houses away from the street. However, they suggested building houses inward in the direction of sheltered greens. These ideas took over mainstream thinking until Jacobs shoved them away in her book. Jacobs understood the meaning that density gives critical mass. Density means good services, good stores, restaurants and cafes. It also means safety in thatthere is life in the street and round the clock activity. NYC zoning regulations reflect this idea by allowing centralization in its policy. This has greatly improved safety in the city nowadays not only because of security by the police department in fighting crime strategically but because there are always people in the streets whether its day time or night time. This idea is one of Jacob’s brilliant contributions. As she writes, “There must be sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whateve4r purposes they may be there. This includes dense concentration in the case of people who are there because of residence”. Within this concept that is critic lays several others as we continue. Greenwich Village was another of Jacob’s important urban lab, the denser but mainly low-rise, working-class neighborhood. As a small-town girl, she took her lessons with respect to proper urban behavior as shown by her neighbors. Like Bernie Jaffe, who owned the candy store and who guides small children traversing the street; Joe Cornacchia, who owned corner deli and kept her keys in case of visitors and emergencies; the locksmith Mr. Lacey, the one who bawled the son of Jacob for running into traffic then he reported him to his dad. Jacobs respected and celebrated working class households plus their conservative, old-world although socially attentive morals. Ethnic neighborhoods emptied out into the suburbs, either voluntarily or coercively under urban renewal. However, Jacobs for saw tragedy in their departure, she admired their territoriality and their commerce enterprises which were frequently held in contempt to be too parochial and insignificant by intellectuals and the government officials. Divisively ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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