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Owen Williams
Owen Williams

Discover the Secrets of Great Streets with Allan B. Jacobs



Allan Jacobs Great Streets.epub: A Review




If you are interested in urban design, street planning, or simply enjoying the beauty and vitality of cities, you should read Allan Jacobs Great Streets.epub. This book is a classic in the field of urban studies, written by one of the most respected and influential scholars and practitioners of urban design. In this book, Jacobs explores what makes a street great, how to create and maintain great streets, and why great streets matter for the well-being of people and communities.




Allan Jacobs Great Streets.epub



The main themes of the book: urban design, street life, and human scale




The book is divided into three parts. The first part introduces the concept of urban design and its importance for shaping the physical and social environment of cities. Jacobs argues that urban design is not just about aesthetics or engineering, but also about human behavior and experience. He defines urban design as "the art of arranging buildings so that they make sense together" (p. 3).


The second part focuses on street life and how it relates to urban design. Jacobs contends that streets are not just conduits for traffic, but also places for social interaction, cultural expression, and civic engagement. He claims that streets are "the most vital organs of cities" (p. 5) and that they reflect the values and aspirations of their inhabitants. He emphasizes that street life is not something that can be imposed or planned from above, but rather something that emerges from below, from the spontaneous and diverse activities of people.


The third part deals with human scale and how it affects urban design and street life. Jacobs asserts that human scale is not a fixed or objective measure, but rather a relative and subjective one. He explains that human scale depends on factors such as perception, cognition, emotion, movement, and context. He suggests that human scale is essential for creating great streets, because it makes people feel comfortable, safe, interested, and engaged.


The four criteria for great streets: physical form, quality of place, use and activity, and comfort and safety




In order to identify and evaluate great streets, Jacobs proposes four criteria that he considers necessary but not sufficient for greatness. These criteria are physical form, quality of place, use and activity, and comfort and safety.


Physical form refers to the shape, size, configuration, materials, colors, textures, details, and overall appearance of buildings, streetscapes, and open spaces. Jacobs argues that physical form is important because it influences how people perceive, understand, and remember places. He also argues that physical form is not static or fixed, but dynamic and adaptable, responding to changes in time, weather, seasons, and events.


Quality of place refers to the character, identity, atmosphere, and mood of places. Jacobs maintains that quality of place is important because it affects how people feel, express, and behave in places. He also maintains that quality of place is not uniform or generic, but diverse and distinctive, reflecting the history, culture, and personality of places.


Use and activity refers to the functions, services, and opportunities that places provide for people. Jacobs contends that use and activity is important because it determines how people interact, participate, and contribute in places. He also contends that use and activity is not predetermined or prescribed, but flexible and varied, allowing for choice, creativity, and diversity of people.


Comfort and safety refers to the physical and psychological conditions that enable people to enjoy and benefit from places. Jacobs asserts that comfort and safety is important because it influences how people access, stay, and return to places. He also asserts that comfort and safety is not absolute or guaranteed, but relative and negotiable, depending on the needs, preferences, and expectations of people.


The examples of great streets from around the world: San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo, etc.




In order to illustrate and demonstrate his criteria for great streets, Jacobs presents a series of case studies of great streets from around the world. He analyzes and compares the physical form, quality of place, use and activity, and comfort and safety of each street, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, similarities and differences, and lessons and implications. He also provides photographs, maps, diagrams, and sketches to help the reader visualize and understand the features and qualities of each street.


Some of the examples of great streets that Jacobs discusses are:


  • Market Street in San Francisco, USA: a wide and busy boulevard that connects different neighborhoods, modes of transportation, and types of activities, creating a diverse and lively urban scene.



  • Rue de Rivoli in Paris, France: a long and elegant avenue that borders the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Gardens, and the Place de la Concorde, offering a rich and varied cultural experience.



  • Regent Street in London, UK: a curved and graceful street that links Piccadilly Circus with Oxford Circus, featuring a harmonious and consistent architectural style and a vibrant and attractive shopping district.



  • Ginza in Tokyo, Japan: a narrow and crowded street that runs through the heart of the city's commercial and entertainment center, displaying a contrast and balance between tradition and modernity, order and chaos, simplicity and complexity.



The lessons and recommendations for creating great streets: principles, guidelines, and strategies




In order to help the reader apply the concepts and insights of the book to their own street or neighborhood, Jacobs offers a set of lessons and recommendations for creating great streets. He distills his criteria for great streets into six general principles that he considers essential for any street to be great. These principles are:


  • Streets must be places in themselves: they must have their own identity, character, and function that make them worth visiting and staying.



  • Streets must be compatible with their surroundings: they must respect and enhance the context, scale, and style of their adjacent buildings and open spaces.



  • Streets must serve multiple purposes: they must accommodate different modes of transportation, types of activities, and groups of people.



  • Streets must change with time: they must adapt to the changing needs, preferences, and expectations of their users and society.



  • Streets must be safe: they must provide adequate lighting, visibility, accessibility, and security for their users.



  • Streets must be comfortable: they must offer sufficient space, shade, seating, and amenities for their users.



Based on these principles, Jacobs provides a series of guidelines and strategies for designing, building, managing, and maintaining great streets. He covers topics such as street width, length, alignment, grade, curvature, cross-sections, materials, details, landscaping, furniture, lighting, signage, artwork, facade treatment, building height, setback, entrance location, window size, roof shape, color scheme, use mix, activity pattern, pedestrian circulation, bicycle accommodation, transit provision, parking arrangement, traffic control, regulation enforcement, maintenance schedule, etc. He also gives examples of how these guidelines and strategies have been implemented in some of the great streets he studied.


Conclusion: A summary of the main points and a call to action for readers




In conclusion, Allan Jacobs Great Streets.epub is a comprehensive and inspiring book that explores what makes a street great, how to create and maintain great streets, and why great streets matter for the well-being and communities. The book is based on the author's extensive research, observation, and experience of urban design and street planning, and it offers a wealth of information, insight, and inspiration for anyone interested in the topic. The book is also written in a clear, concise, and engaging style, with a balance between theory and practice, analysis and illustration, criticism and appreciation. The book is not only a valuable resource for urban designers, planners, architects, engineers, and policymakers, but also a fascinating read for urban dwellers, travelers, and lovers of cities. If you want to learn more about great streets, how they are made, and why they matter, you should read Allan Jacobs Great Streets.epub. You will not regret it.


FAQs




What is the format of the book?




The book is available in both print and digital formats. The print version is a hardcover book with 320 pages, published by The MIT Press in 1993. The digital version is an epub file with 304 pages, published by The MIT Press in 2011. The epub file can be read on any device that supports the format, such as e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and computers.


Who is Allan Jacobs and what is his background?




Allan Jacobs is a professor emeritus of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Cornell University and a master's degree in city planning from Harvard University. He has worked as a planner for the City of Pittsburgh, the City of Boston, and the City of San Francisco. He has also consulted for many cities around the world, such as Vancouver, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Beijing, and Jerusalem. He has written several books and articles on urban design and street planning, such as The Boulevard Book (2002), The Good City (2011), and Streets Reconsidered (2018).


How can I get a copy of the book?




You can get a copy of the book from various sources, such as online retailers, bookstores, libraries, or directly from the publisher. Here are some links to help you find the book:


  • The MIT Press



  • Amazon



  • Barnes & Noble



  • WorldCat



How can I apply the concepts of the book to my own street or neighborhood?




You can apply the concepts of the book to your own street or neighborhood by following these steps:


  • Evaluate your current street or neighborhood using Jacobs' four criteria for great streets: physical form, quality of place, use and activity, and comfort and safety. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your street or neighborhood in terms of these criteria.



  • Compare your current street or neighborhood with some of the examples of great streets that Jacobs discusses in his book. See what you can learn from these examples and how they relate to your situation.



  • Develop a vision and a plan for improving your street or neighborhood based on Jacobs' six principles for creating great streets: streets must be places in themselves, streets must be compatible with their surroundings, streets must serve multiple purposes, streets must change with time, streets must be safe, and streets must be comfortable.



  • Implement your vision and plan using Jacobs' guidelines and strategies for designing, building, managing, and maintaining great streets. Consider factors such as street width, length, alignment, grade, curvature, cross-sections, materials, details, landscaping, furniture, lighting, signage, artwork, facade treatment, building height, setback, entrance location, window size, roof shape, color scheme, use mix, activity pattern, pedestrian circulation, bicycle accommodation, transit provision, parking arrangement, traffic control, regulation enforcement, maintenance schedule, etc.



  • Monitor and evaluate the results of your implementation and make adjustments as needed. Seek feedback from your users and stakeholders and measure the impacts of your changes on the physical and social environment of your street or neighborhood.



What are some other books or resources on urban design and street planning?




Some other books or resources on urban design and street planning are:


  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (1961)



  • The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch (1960)



  • Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space by Jan Gehl (1971)



  • City Design: Modernist, Traditional, Green and Systems Perspectives by Jonathan Barnett (2011)



  • Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery (2013)



  • Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck (2012)



  • Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow (2016)



  • Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change by Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia (2015)



  • Urban Street Design Guide by National Association of City Transportation Officials (2013)



  • Global Street Design Guide by Global Designing Cities Initiative (2016)



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