I've been slowly making my way through Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities over the course of the last few months. I've already posted one excerpt from it, about the importance of old buildings, which you can check out here. (There's also a wee bit more background information about Jacobs, her book, and her move from New York to Toronto in that post.) But I figured I'd share another quick little passage from the book. This time, a brief paragraph on why an entire city benefits by having a vibrant downtown core:
"When a city heart stagnates or disintegrates, a city as a social neighbourhood of the whole beings to suffer: People who ought to get together, by means of central activities that are failing, fail to get together. Ideas and money that ought to meet, and do so often only by happenstance in a place of central vitality, fail to meet. The networks of city public life develop gaps they cannot afford. Without a strong and inclusive central heart, a city tends to become a collection of interests isolated from one another. It falters at producing something greater, socially, culturally and economically, than the sum of its separated parts."
You can buy The Death and Life of Great Americans Cities here. Or borrow it from the Toronto Public Library here. Or read more samples from it on Google Books here.