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British Association for American Studies


Issue 11, Autumn 2007: Article 3


Issue 11, Autumn 2007: Article 3

U.S. Studies Online: The BAAS Postgraduate Journal

Issue 11, Autumn 2007

‘Speaking of Survival and of Ordinary Things’: The Emergence of an Urban Philosophy in the 1960s New York Writing of Jane Jacobs and Maeve Brennan

Madeleine Lyes
© Madeleine Lyes. All Rights Reserved

It must have seemed like they came out of nowhere. Jane Jacobs and Maeve Brennan both rose to prominence in nineteen-sixties New York in a way that eschewed all traditional paths. Jacobs published The Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1961, instantly stirring up what had been the comfortably stagnant pool of urban theory and criticism following the last great wave of development from the Chicago School in the 1930s, and she did it with no formal training in urban planning, architecture or the social sciences, and no reputation other than that as a small-scale neighbourhood activist and magazine sub-editor to precede her. Maeve Brennan was a blow-in; an Irish-born and Irish-educated woman who began her long writing career at the New Yorker writing seven-line book reviews and who rose through the ranks of anonymous ‘Talk of the Town’ writers to become one of the very few to create a unique and distinguishing persona from within the City Section of the magazine.

I have found no evidence that they ever personally interacted, and in many ways, these two women shared little in common. Jacobs was a happily-married, family woman; her interactions with the city were invariably linked to the practical challenges of creating a decent home for her children and her community, while Brennan was a woman almost without community. Always living out of hotel rooms, and embodying in a multitude of ways the urban archetype of the flâneur, Brennan had a turbulent romantic life and little or no grounding influences within the city. The two women lived very different lives. However, Jacobs’ theories were extensively debated within the pages of the New Yorker, most famously in Lewis Mumford’s rebuttal of Death and Life in December 1962, and it is likely that Brennan was aware of her work. In turn, the chances of Jacobs being aware of Brennan and her city writings are quite high as Jacobs regularly referred to much city-focused New Yorker journalism in her books. Regardless of whether the women had any concrete interaction, however, it is plain that their work, which shared a mutual interest in the everyday concrete realities of nineteen-sixties Manhattan, was in a dialogue of its own. One an activist and planning enthusiast, the other a budding author and newly minted member of the New York literary intelligentsia, their methods of engagement with the city were nevertheless strikingly similar, and their ideological interaction gave strength to a growing national interest in re-conceptualising urban space.

The practice of urban studies as we understand it today had not yet taken hold at the time of publication for Jacobs’ Death and Life and the majority of Brennan’s city-themed columns for the New Yorker. In the aftermath of the great wave of urban expansion and theoretical investigation by the Chicago School during the 1920s and 1930s, the ground-breaking work of Louis Wirth, Robert Park, Ernest Burgess and others remained relatively unchallenged, the precepts they envisaged for city living quickly becoming embedded at various levels in academic thought, city planning and national government. Their work treated the city as a laboratory, expanding scientific principles and data analysis from ecological disciplines in order to study the urban landscape as a habitat. Both their empiricist methods and their use of mapping techniques helped develop a particular type of urban sociology that prioritised environmental and structural factors over the psychological or cultural aspects of city living.

These principles, later embodied in the work of urban patriarch Lewis Mumford (who, incidentally, would later maintain a long and heated debate with Jane Jacobs regarding her theories on urban planning), were applied with particular zeal by state governments and local authorities in the 1950s post-war era of prosperity and expansion. The shift towards suburban living, which would see during the 1960s a 28.2% rise in population for the metropolitan rings around a city rather than at its core, was in many ways the perfect testing ground for the theories and observations of the Chicago School of urban thought.[1] Fascination with all things urban took hold once again during this time, as the 1976 edition of Charles Glaab and Theodore Brown’s A History of Urban America explains:

In the period after World War II, the city, as in the late nineteenth century, became a preoccupation of scholars and popular writers, and data accumulated. Congress passed laws regarding cities, and their provisions and effects were reasonably clear. Statistics of housing, urban renewal, and urban crime were carefully gathered. The number of people killed and the amount of property destroyed in another series of urban riots were counted up. But the ideological and political concerns of our own time warped reflections on most matters.[2]

Both the quantitative bent of this research and the ideological reflections it inspired are represented in Jacobs’ work, although the position Death and Life adopted was so different from any earlier work that the clamour which received its arrival – both positive and negative – must have been anticipated. This was the era of suburban, or ‘white’ flight, with cities across America becoming more racially polarised as the middle classes left the metropolis for the haven of suburbia. Consequently, the cities became seen as the home of the urban poor and were demonised as dangerous and poverty-stricken, these distinctions playing out almost inevitably along racial lines. During this period, constructive government strategies for urban improvement focused fiscal attention not only on the disintegrating inner cities but also on undeveloped rural communities, with the aim of encouraging people to leave cities altogether, thus, presumably, avoiding the entire problem.[3] In this light, Jacobs’ advocation – as a white, educated middle-class woman – of the East Village as a safe and viable space in which to raise a family was somewhat revolutionary. It would not be until the end of the decade that Jacobs’ text would begin to assume the privileged intellectual and academic space her predecessors occupied. With the burgeoning field of urban studies making itself felt in universities across the United States in the 1960s, Jacobs’ work found an audience that would take her ideas forward into the twenty-first century.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities opens in typically blunt Jacobs fashion. ‘This book is an attack’, she says, ‘on current city planning and rebuilding […] My attack is not based on quibbles about rebuilding methods or hair-splitting about fashions in design. It is an attack, rather, on the principles and aims that have shaped modern, orthodox city planning and rebuilding’.[4] Later in the text, Jacobs goes on to criticize in particular ‘the Great Blight of Dullness’ that she sees not only in the formulaic planning decisions being made at the time but that had held the discipline of urban planning and theory in stasis for decades. She levels criticisms at many of her predecessors and contemporaries – luminaries such as Le Corbusier, Lewis Mumford and Daniel Burnham – and at the City Beautiful and Garden City projects which promised a utopian future for the city but which were, in her words, ‘guided by principles derived from the behaviours and appearance of towns, suburbs, tuberculosis sanatoria, fairs, and imaginary dream cities – from anything but cities themselves’ (Jacobs, p. 6). Jacobs saw her work as grounded in the everyday life of the city, reflecting the Lefebvrian belief that insight into the workings of society and its ills is best found through the scrutiny of mundane events most people take for granted. She castigated those planners and theorists whose visions of cities were ‘so orderly, so visible, so easy to understand’, and whose designs reflected a city like ‘a wonderful, mechanical toy’ (Jacobs, p. 23). Jacobs’ city was the city of the streets; sidewalks were, for her, the most vital organs of any metropolis. Her book examined the everyday urban scenes around her, all her theories culled from her observations of what she called the ‘daily ballet’ of the sidewalk outside her home in the East Village (Jacobs, p. 54). Her fight was with the then-prevailing and still devastatingly influential assumption in city planning that the streamlining of urban streets leads to increased order and prosperity, with the ‘craft of city taxidermy’, as she described it, dictating a harmony and regularity of function and style imposed by authoritarian planning legislation (Jacobs, p. 25).

Jacobs gives myriad contemporary examples of city districts where such homogeneity of vision and execution had led to the steady downfall of community and social order, showing that, even when amply funded, the meticulously planned, overly controlling and streamlined design ideas left once thriving neighbourhoods stilted, unused and inevitably falling into decay. In her approach, she privileged the uniqueness of urban existence, ascribing it to the all-pervasive presence of strangers and detailing exhaustively the ways in which interaction between friendly strangers within the city determines its character and climate. Although Jacobs is known for her insights into the economies of cities, her work also focused on the sensibilities of urban life: the effects of the urban landscape on not just the economic capabilities of city dwellers but also on their mental and emotional make-up, and their interactions with one another. For Jacobs, the economic strength of a city is indisputably linked to the interpersonal vitality of its citizens. In Death and Life, she drew a picture of the city as a nexus of millions of nebulous yet essential relationships between strangers and almost-strangers, a balance of privacy and trust which could not be institutionally cultivated and without which the urban fabric falls apart. Her evocation of this nexus relied on the idea that urban citizens would, given the correct conditions, foster a sense of safety and community on the streets by simply observing them, keeping eyes on the street and thereby contributing to an intricate, almost unconscious network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves. This system – which Jacobs saw functioning in her own city neighbourhood – is notable for its reliance on the visual senses, on the harnessing of that particularly urban phenomenon of grand-scale people-watching, which perhaps are, after all, the ultimate natural resource of city life. This exploitation of the potential of observational practice is also one of the many ways in which Jacobs work is parallel to that of fellow New Yorker, writer Maeve Brennan.

Maeve Brennan wrote for the New Yorker magazine from 1954 to 1981. Born in 1917 in Ireland, she moved with her family to Washington in 1934 when her father was made Ireland’s first ambassador to the United States. Deciding against the traditional path of marriage and family, she moved alone to New York and began her career as a writer with Harper’s Bazaar, soon moving on to the New Yorker magazine where she began penning articles for the ‘Talk of the Town’ city section. Each article submitted by Brennan was published under the somewhat arch pseudonym of ‘the Long-Winded Lady’, and her column, which took the form of an epistolary narrative, was introduced each time with a variation on the same phrase: ‘We have received another communication from our friend the long-winded lady’. A two- or three-page letter would follow, describing the observations of the ‘lady’ as she sat in a Manhattan restaurant or bar and watched the city move around her. With such an introduction, and in such a particular literary setting, a certain type of narrative could have been expected from Brennan.

The New Yorker, while a publication of undeniable literary and artistic merit with a tradition of patronage for some of America’s greatest authors, was a magazine aimed towards the well-heeled New York elite, of ‘smug, gilt-edged readers’, as described by George Douglas in his review of Mary Corey’s book on the New Yorker, The World Through a Monocle.[5] Corey’s book, a survey of the magazine’s readership, staff and marketing strategies throughout the last century, concentrates its analysis on the increasing influence of advertising revenues on the content of the magazine, but it can also be seen that the New Yorker worked hard to provide the type of content its readership expected. Throughout its history, the magazine produced articles and stories for and about its Manhattan society which dealt with the subject of making a place for oneself in the city, articles which helped to reinforce the wealthy urban citizen’s need to believe himself or herself at home in the metropolis. This home was necessarily one of privilege and safety, where interaction with the chaotic carnival of street life was carefully regulated and conceived around consumption, spectacle and prestige. Maeve Brennan’s articles were well designed to fit the particular requirements of the magazine’s ‘Talk of the Town’ section, albeit on a superficial level. The comfortable persona of the ‘Long-Winded Lady’ acted as filter for any potentially disturbing observations about city life, for example. However, these observations also contain within them a vision of urban living that unsettled any glamorous surface description and posited a model of urban living that was the antithesis of the homely comfort of the typical City Section piece.

Like Jacobs, Brennan negotiated her interaction with the city through observation. She would position herself in the midst of urban life and write about the parks, landmark buildings and public transport of the city, describing her own sense of connection to these spaces. This was not the passive occupation it seems, however. In the foreword to an edition of her collected works, Brennan stresses that the Long-Winded Lady was ‘never a sightseer, never an explorer’.[6] Instead, her observations of city life were a type of connection, a skein of trust and acknowledgement that has much in common with Jacobs’ own strategies. ‘When she looks about her’, says Brennan, talking of the Long-Winded Lady, ‘it is not the strange or exotic ways of people that interest her, but the ordinary ways, when something that is familiar to her shows’ (Brennan, p. 3). These ‘moments of recognition’, as she describes them, are not those of the typical detached and disinterested auteur sitting aloof in order to diagnose the anatomy of urban existence; Brennan did not ‘cast a cold eye on life, on death’, but rather saw her observations, the elements of city life and city people that appealed to her as parts of herself, evidence of a wider connectivity with the urban fabric.[7] For Brennan, those moments of recognition were a claim of kinship with the city and part of a greater project of self-location within the metropolitan miasma.

Though not a planner, an architect or an urban sociologist, Brennan’s city writings reflect her deep engagement with both the artistic and practical realities of urban life. Reflecting the immense upheaval ongoing in the United States and more particularly in New York City during the 1960s, her portrayal of the city is hyper-aware of the transience and instability of the urban fabric, evoking a picture of a concrete city crumbling before her eyes. She criticises sharply the unthinking demolition and replacement of myriad Manhattan buildings, concentrating on the effects this constantly shifting landscape has on the mindset of the city dweller. She saw the ‘Office Space giants’ making vast incursions downtown, replacing the small, family-run businesses she recognised as the ‘home fires’ of the city. Describing one such incident, she reports,

I had bad news tonight at Le Steak de Paris, where I had dinner. ‘The building is coming down’ – and the little restaurant is to be swept away, just like that, after more than twenty-six years of hardy life. Those words ‘The building is coming down’ occur so often in New York conversations, and they have such finality, and are so unanswerable, that once they have been said there is nothing more to say. There is no appealing the decisions of the ogre called Office Space that stalks the city and will not be appeased (Brennan, p. 157).

Brennan was, in her own way, as conscious as Jacobs of the desperate struggle for control of the city’s streets ongoing throughout the decade. I would argue, in fact, that in some ways Brennan was able to comprehend the stakes of that struggle in a more profound way than Jacobs. Perhaps because of her higher level of vulnerability, her more open artistic vision, Brennan saw ramifications for the gutting of downtown New York that Jacobs never fathomed. Unencumbered by Jacobs’ focus on the project of rehabilitation for the city, by her need to be optimistic and constructive in the face of mounting destruction, Brennan’s vision of urban transience touches on despair and instability in a way that would next be picked up by the urban postmoderns. ‘The city was tottering around me’, she says, ‘the floor beneath my feet already shivering beneath the wreckers boots… All my life, I suppose, I’ll be scurrying out of buildings just ahead of the wreckers’ (Brennan, p. 190). Her city seemed temporary, unreliable, unreal: ‘there are times when the whole area seems to be a gigantic storehouse of stage flats and stage props that are being stacked together as economically as possible until something more sturdy can be built, something that will last’ (Brennan, p. 224).

Traditional concepts of ‘something that will last’ in the United States revolve around the home, often a long-standing homestead (be it colonial mansion, log cabin or ranch) within which each new generation could locate an identity and negotiate a conception of self closely linked to the ever-reliable walls of the family home. Jacobs and Brennan both operated, however, in a space where traditional strategies of stable home-making were becoming obsolete. New York was a city in flux, and while their work within that city sought to criticise the ways in which that flux is manifested on street-level, neither of them suggested that the rapidly changing nature of the city was destructive in and of itself. In this, and in many other ways, both women were positioned in epistemological opposition to much of the urban theory and criticism prominent at the time. On issues such as spatial planning, the function of strangers and the importance of privacy in the city, Jacobs and Brennan swam hard against the tide. Stanley Milgram, writing for Science in 1970 on the psychological experience of living in cities, argues that:

The ultimate adaptation to an over-loaded social environment is to totally disregard the needs, interests, and demands of those whom one does not define as relevant to the satisfaction of personal needs, and to develop highly efficient perceptual means of determining whether an individual falls into the category of friend or stranger […] The disparity in the treatment of friends and strangers ought to be greater in cities than in towns; the time allotment and willingness to become involved with those who have no personal claim on one’s time is likely to be less in cities than in towns.[8]

This seems common wisdom; it is surely in line with the thoughts of other great urban philosophers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Georg Simmel, both of whom warned against the deleterious effects the city may have on a man’s soul or psychology (depending on the era). Milgram positioned the urban dweller as self-isolating in an effort towards pre-emptive protection against ‘overload’, a term which he derived from systems-analysis and which has since entered common parlance.[9] His conception of the interpersonal dynamic between relative strangers within the urban milieu as uncomfortable and ideally avoided was in direct opposition to Jacobs’ evocation of the nexus of mutual courtesies proven all-important in her experience of city life in the East Village. Her daily ballet on the sidewalks has been criticised as an overly-idealistic rendering of urban living, a sort of Disneyfied fantasy wherein all members of the urban community rely on each other for support and trust each other implicitly. But Jacobs was very careful to point out the ways in which the protections and controls of street life made possible by the networks of urban citizens she described were unconscious and unplanned, resulting not from close bonds between each member of the community but from a recognition of mutual benefit derived from practices requiring little individual effort. As she described it,

the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers. Nobody enjoys sitting on a stoop or looking out a window at an empty street. Almost nobody does such a thing. Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on, by watching street activity (Jacobs, p. 7).

By linking the core of her theory of urban success to notions of enjoyment and entertainment, and to a comprehensive, liveable lifestyle which takes into account the basic attributes of human nature – our love of people-watching – Jacobs rooted her vision for the city in the assumption that city-dwellers must look primarily to cities to supply their social and psychological needs. It is this type of principle which came to mark a shift in urban theory post-Chicago School, a move from a conception of the city as a place that must be negotiated so as to obtain maximum benefit at minimal psychological cost to a recognition that there could be something uniquely beneficial to be derived from the chaotic and confusing space of the metropolis.

Like Jacobs, Brennan refused to advocate withdrawal from city space for self-protection, her writing quietly undermining the image of the metropolis promulgated by the New Yorker as a place one enters purely to consume and be seen to be doing so. Again, this places her work in opposition to contemporary visions of urban experience. In his 1967 piece, ‘The Social Psychology of Privacy’, Barry Schwartz spoke of the everyday realities of city life and contended that ‘the possibility of withdrawal into well-equipped worlds which are inaccessible to others is that which makes intense group affiliations bearable’.[10] This paradigm sets up an opposition between freely accessible (and therefore threatening) urban space and ‘well-equipped worlds’ (meaning homes) towards which the urban citizen can retreat. Though the privileging of private space has many historical correlatives, from the vine gardens of Egypt to the enclosed patios of Rome, and the deconstruction of such spaces has become ever more prevalent since the advent of the spatial turn in critical theory. The urge toward retreat as a societal phenomenon reached one zenith in 1950s America when the expansion of the metropolitan centres coincided with a new prosperity, rendering cities simultaneously compelling and, for most, easily escapable. Brennan, however, wasn’t interested in escaping New York, rather she based her representation of the ideal urban experience in a conception of the city as home in and of itself, as shown in her impassioned précis of New York city living:

It is in daily life, looking around for restaurants and shops and for a place to live, that we find our way about the city. And it is necessary to find one’s own way in New York. New York City is not hospitable. She is very big and she has no heart […] New York does nothing for those of us who are inclined to love her except implant in our hearts a homesickness that baffles us until we go away from here, and then we realize why we are restless. At home or away, we are homesick for New York not because New York used to be better and not because she used to be worse, but because the city holds us and we don’t know why (Brennan, p. 142).

This quote is somewhat tonally out of character with much of Brennan’s output. On the whole, her pieces for the New Yorker conveyed their message through the use of subtle, wry humour, rather than the direct assertive style shown here. This excerpt is noteworthy, however, in that it contains many of the key elements of her own urban philosophy: ‘We are homesick for New York not because New York used to be better’, she says; ‘it is in daily life that we find our way about the city’, and ‘the city holds us, and we don’t know why’. These lines identify as important the refutation of nostalgia; a commitment to the public spaces and everyday life of the city; and finally, a strategy for urban living, for finding a place for oneself in the city, that sidesteps a plethora of conventional strategies including the struggle to keep a natal home, to return to what once seemed secure, to hermetically seal oneself inside a womb-like residence and base one’s sense of reality upon that unchanging environment in perpetuity. In opposition to this concept, Brennan suggests through her work a style of homemaking within the modern city dependent not on housing but on what she calls ‘ordinary things’, upon moments of recognition between people and places which can happen anywhere. This evocation of the ordinary, of that moment when, in her words, ‘something that is familiar’ is shown, identifies a new variety of ‘ordinary’, and a new conception of ‘familiar’ that provide the urban citizen with the comfort and reassurance he or she needs without a reliance on an outmoded definition of home (Brennan, p. 3).

William Yancey, writing in 1971 about strategies for improvement in the design of large-scale public housing projects for what he called the ‘lower classes’, agreed that architecture does have an effect on the manner in which people negotiate their lives, and finally advising that in planning such projects for the future, ‘[d]esigners should minimize space that belongs to no one’.[11] Yancey was speaking here of the public spaces between individual dwellings which he believed should be parcelled up into smaller sections to be owned unequivocally by one set of residents or another. He shares a similarity of viewpoint with Jane Jacobs here, who was also opposed to great swathes of open space in the city with no discernable function or claimant. ‘Open space for what? … For muggings? For bleak vacuums between buildings?’.[12] Where Jacobs and Yancey would have diverged, of course, is in the idea of ‘designers’ working to plan any kind of public space at all.

Nonetheless, the idea of ‘space that belongs to no one’ taps into some of the most crucial questions facing urban theorists both during the 1960s and today. Compounded within it are a raft of questions relating to the liveability of cities, to the ownership of space, and to the issue of place-based identity-formation and the resulting notions of responsibility and affiliation that come along with it. Space that belongs to no one, unclaimed and unmarked, has been thoroughly debunked as a concept by the work of the spatial theorists working since the 1980s. Edward Soja, for example, pointed out early on that space could no longer be seen as ‘the dead, the fixed, the undialectical’, but was instead both a social product and a shaping force in social life.[13] Both Jacobs and Brennan acknowledged this fact in their work by expressing concern about the kind of city space that was controlled and allotted from above, whether that be by the ostensibly well-meaning local and state governments, supported by the institution of architectural planning, or by the increasingly powerful corporations with their ability to manipulate the concrete fabric of the city.

It cannot be said, however, that Brennan and Jacobs would have advocated the polar opposite of Yancey’s suggestion, namely the creation of a space owned by everybody. Both recognised the intrinsic territoriality of the human animal and detailed this in their work: Jacobs, when she describes the incursion of a ‘wild kid from the suburbs’ disrupting her daily ballet; and Brennan, in her atomisation of human relationships under the influence of such territorial impulses (Jacobs, p. 25). In truth, then, what was sought in this new conception of urban living is neither a space that belongs to no one or a space that belongs to all, but a vision of the urban as used space, a city which is not simply for entertainment, pleasure, consumption and enterprise, but also a space for individuals in society to feel at home in its most expansive sense – to feel a sense of belonging, responsibility and inclusion. A re-envisioning of the Roman polis is suggested, wherein individuals ‘in their capacity as citizens, participate in an ongoing process of conscious collective self-determination’ – perhaps with a twentieth-century addendum guaranteeing the right to abdicate participation entirely.[14] More particularly, the urban space envisioned by Brennan and Jacobs was a malleable space, one which could be altered and re-designed at will by those who occupied it, not just those who designed it from on high.

Working within the paradigms of their time, Jane Jacobs and Maeve Brennan, in their different ways, both created visions of a very different future. Jacobs made herself an advocate of change, criticising those planners who would seek to create rigid, frozen projects within a city she prized most for its vitality, and levelling disdain at groups like the Housers, who sought to develop self-contained, introverted neighbourhoods as agents of social change. Brennan, too, accepted and embraced the reality of urban flux in her writing. Her strategies of home-making within the city were based not on bricks and mortar but on the moments of recognition between people, and she boldly advocated a plan for self-location away from the increasingly unreliable walls of a city homestead and towards the kinship between ordinary strangers on the street. Against the tide of cultural representations of frightened women intimidated by city life, and repudiating traditional conceptions of the dangers of urban existence for women and the admonitions of generations advising them to seek the security of home in the face of the jungle-like space of the metropolis, Jane Jacobs and Maeve Brennan made themselves comfortable in chaos.

Elizabeth Wilson, in The Sphinx and the City, a study of women in the metropolis in literature and culture, points out that there are women who find the vast amorphousness of the city not threatening but reassuring, in her words almost ‘womblike’. Both Jacobs and Brennan used their understanding of this amorphousness in provocative ways.[15] Their examinations of nineteen-sixties New York and their particular focus on the unstable nature of the changing urban fabric, advocated an experience of the city that rejected traditional policy and planning norms in order to posit a model for urban living in which each citizen is urged to accept the inevitability and homeliness of chaos. As we ourselves engage with twenty-first century concerns regarding the changing definition of home, we are also forced to grapple with the increasing diversity of the megalopolis and the forces of globalisation which compel us to re-assess the place-based identity formation strategies devised by preceding generations. The provocative visions of urban life espoused by Jane Jacobs and Maeve Brennan stand as testimony to the unending possibilities offered by the city to those who search its streets for answers.

Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin


[1] Charles N. Glaab, and A. Theodore Brown, A History of Urban America, 2nd edn. (New York & London: Macmillan, 1976), p. 293.

[2] Ibid., p. 291.

[3] Zane L. Miller, The Urbanization of Modern America: A Brief History (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973) p. 204.

[4] Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of the Great American Cities (New York: Random House, Inc., 1961), p. 3. All further references are included within the body of the text.

[5] George Douglas, ‘Review of The World Through A Monocle: The New Yorker at Midcentury by Mary F. Corey’, The Journal of American History, 87.2 (2000), 738-739.

[6] Maeve Brennan, The Long-Winded Lady: Notes from the New Yorker (New York: Mariner Books, 1998), p. 2. All further references are included within the body of the text.

[7] William Butler Yeats, ‘Under Ben Bulben’, in Last Poems and Plays (New York: Macmillan, 1940).

[8] Stanley Milgram, ‘The Experience of Living in Cities: A Psychological Analysis’, in Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival, ed. by John Helmer and Neil A. Eddington (New York: The Free Press, 1973), p. 4.

[9] Ibid., p. 2.

[10] Barry Schwartz, ‘The Social Psychology of Privacy’, in Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival, ed. by John Helmer and Neil A. Eddington (New York: The Free Press, 1973), p. 136.

[11] William L. Yancey, ‘Architecture, Interaction, and Social Control: The Case of a Large-Scale Public Housing Project’, Environment and Behaviour, 3.1 (March 1971), 3-21 (p. 19).

[12] Jacobs quoted by Ed Zotti, ‘Eyes on Jane Jacobs’, in Ideas That Matter: The Worlds of Jane Jacobs, ed. by Max Allen(Ontario: The Ginger Press, 1997) p. 62.

[13] Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (London & New York: Verso, 1989), p. 4.

[14] Jeff Weintraub, ‘Varieties and Vicissitudes of Public Space’, in Metropolis: Centre and Symbol of Our Times, ed. by Philip Kasinitz (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) p. 291.

[15] Elizabeth Wilson, The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women (London: Virago Press, 1991) p. 158.