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Jacobs, Density and Parks

Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs

Anthony Flint of the Lincoln Institute and author of the recently released book on Jane Jacobs pens a piece for the Boston Globe outlining a blueprint for a good city, using the lessons from both Jacobs and her adversary Robert Moses. Flint specifically points out the role of increasing density in making housing more affordable and available, and notes its importance to places such as parks.

We need to embrace density, which increases supply to meet the great demand for living in cities, in the places where it’s appropriate and desirable……The edges of the [Boston’s] Rose Kennedy Greenway are a good example. Jacobs advocated low-rise streetscapes like Greenwich Village, but she was not adamant against towers, as long as the ground-floor experience was friendly for the pedestrian. She realized that density translates to activity in parks and open space and on the streets and sidewalks. There’s plenty of capacity in downtown Boston for all of this, as the city considers redevelopment proposals at the Government Center and Harbor garages.

In other words, density and parks complement each other.

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