Essays on Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs (1916–2006) gained international recognition with her groundbreakling book The Death and Life of Great American Cities and became a prominent political activist. But despite early worldwide attention, she remains unknown to many. Jacobs’ written work has an unusual breadth to it, with eight books ranging from economics and ecology to politics and social philosophy, taking on the whole mystery of society.

In this anthology, 13 writers consider unique aspects of Jacobs, reassessing her work in the context of our contemporary reality. They explore burning questions about how we build communities and cities – and how we can live together in them.

Essays on Jane Jacobs
ISBN: 978-91-985-2369-0​
65 illustrations. 22.5 x 16 cm (portrait). 300 pp
Design: Patric Leo
Spring 2020

Essay Authors

Ola Andersson, architect and partner in the firm Andersson Arfwedson arkitekter AB in Stockholm. He also writes about architecture and town planning in the daily press, e.g. in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, and in specialist journals.

Vania Ceccato, Professor at the Department of Urban Planning and Environment, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Among other things she has written Rural Crime and Community Safety (2014) and Retail Crime: International Evidence and Prevention (2018) in cooperation with Rachel Armitage.

Peter Elmlund specialises in urban development. He has since 2002 led the Urban City Research as a director at Ax:son Johnson Foundation, a project that among other things provides support to a Masters in sustainable urban design at the Faculty of Architecture School at Lund University – LTH (Lunds Tekniska Högskola).

Jill L. Grant, Professor emerita in planning at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. She has written about power and participation in town planning, sustainability issues and creative cities, with the emphasis on local factors and perspectives.

Tigran Haas, Associate Professor focusing on Urban Planning and Design and Sustainable City Development at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, at KTH. He is currently the Director of the Centre for the Future of Places at KTH (CFP), and the Program Director for Urbanism Studies at KTH.

Ebba Högström is a researcher, teacher and architect. She is Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies at the Swedish School of Planning at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden, where she is also Director of the Master’s programme in Urban Planning.

Peter L. Laurence, Associate Professor of Architecture at the Clemson University School of Architecture in Clemson, South Carolina. He is the author of the renowned biography Becoming Jane Jacobs (2016) and is also a partner in The Urbanism Project.

Michael W. Mehaffy, guest researcher at the Centre for the Future of Places (CFP) of KTH. He is a member of the editing panel of two international journals and the author or co-author of over twenty books, the latest being Cities Alive: Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, and the Roots of the New Urban Renaissance (2017).

Jesper Meijling is a researcher, writer and architect. He works in the Department for historical studies and the Department of urban and regional studies at KTH. Among other things Meijling studies the phenomenon of the marketisation of public services and spaces and technical systems, e.g. in his book Marknad på villovägar [Markets astray] (2014).

Eva Minoura, Doctor of Technology in town planning, a consultant for town planning projects in the early stages, and leading the unit of professional skills at the Swedish architects’ association (SA).

Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University in New York. Her research covers migration, urban conditions and the state in the globalised economy.Her latest book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (2014), a detailed examination of the systems logic that enables deep economic divides and the destruction of natural resources.

Per Svensson is a political editor for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and a writer. In books such as Storstugan [The living room] (1996), Svenska hem [Swedish homes] (2002) and Malmö – världens svenskaste stad [Malmö – The world’s most Swedish of cities] (2011), Svensson has homed in on the interplay between ideology, politics and town planning. Jane Jacobs is a source of inspiration in his work.

Catharina Thörn is a sociologist and lecturer in cultural studies at the University of Gothenburg. She carries out research into urban development, public spaces and gentrification.