He considers that the primary objective of a city’s streets and side walk is to positively influence people’s perception of safety. The streets and sidewalks should be able to offer people a feeling of…
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The crowd on the streets and the perception of safety are reciprocally connected. If people feel that streets are unsafe, they stop using them, shops remain shut and the street becomes more unsafe. A city is basically a network of such streets. A city with more streets which are perceived to be unsafe is eventually an unsafe city. Thus it is important for streets to have lots of stores and other public places so that it has lot of ‘eyes on the street’ as Jacobs puts it.
Jacobs use the dance of the ballet to represent the vibrancy of the streets. The roles voluntary and involuntary that people play in Jacobs’ neighborhood on Hudson Street in Greenwich Village are represented as parts of a ballet. Every person who pass through the street has some or the other role to play in this ballet. What is interesting here is that Jacobs is able to see order and rhythm in otherwise seemingly disoriented and disorganized Hudson Street. A ballet on stage has to have lot of coordination amongst its actors. What connects them is the story line. They play the roles assigned to them according to the story line. Here, on the street every stranger play their role based a connecting factor which ultimately leads the security of the street. Jacob see himself playing her role as she places the garbage bin on the street. The school goers, shop keepers all play their role in varied vibrancy. In totality, all of this leads to the well being of the city.
What connects Jacobs’ idea of urban planning with other sociologists like Wirth, Simmel, and Tonnies is the consideration of underlying social connections between the physical structures of the city and the people. All of these thinkers could go beyond the idea of physical structures being determinants of the quality of a city. The work of Simmel, and Tonnies lays the philosophical foundation for the ideas of Jacobs. While the works of Wirth, Simmel, and Tonnies identified the underlying social
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