TAC is holding a symposium on the late Jane Jacobs, an urban activist best known for her work The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Often credited with saving New York City’s Greenwich Village from a freeway, she argued that centralized government planning projects (particularly single-use zoning) destroyed city communities and created undesirable urban spaces. A variety of voices came together to offer perspectives on Jacobs’s contributions on the 50th anniversary of her book’s release. In an article from the print edition of TAC, Austin Bramwell says that while her critics should be considered, Jacobs’s contributions saved an important part of New York City.
The tech world — no, the entire world — was shaken yesterday by the sad news of Steve Jobs’s passing, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Rod Dreher says that though the event is indeed unfortunate, dedications in his memory should not gloss over any shortcomings. Mark Nugent suggests that Jobs was a transformational figure for anyone who uses modern operating systems, Apple or otherwise.
Somewhat obscured by the larger news of Jobs’s passing, and following Chris Christie’s announcement that he will not be seeking the Presidency in 2012, Sarah Palin has also denied any plans to run for President. Rod Dreher says that’s mostly cause for a sigh of relief, as this will mark the end of her reputation as a national politician, but it’s still somewhat disappointing that her political career took the turns that it did.
Food pantries picked over. Incomes drying up. Shelters bursting with the homeless. Job seekers spilling out the doors of employment centers. College grads moving back in with their parents. The angry and disillusioned filling the streets.
Pan your camera from one coast to the other, from city to suburb to farm and back again, and you’ll witness scenes like these. They are the legacy of the Great Recession, the Lesser Depression, or whatever you choose to call it.