Essay: Urban life

A billion dollars, is a lot of money and it deletes the question; ‘do we have enough money to solve this’. With a billion dollars we could wipe out all the slums, gray belts that were yesterday’s and day-before-yesterday’s suburbs, and we could even fix the traffic problem. All of this could be good, but it is also just a wistful myth.
Bad things have come out of the billions, because they have been used wrong. Centers of vandalism, delinquency and general social hopelessness are what came out of the low-income projects that were supposed to replace the slums. Which makes the place even worse than before. Civic centers that only bums uses. The money that were supposed to rebuild the cities, are destroying them even more.
The planners of this time think that if they solve the issue of traffic, then they can solve the issue of the cities. This is of course because it’s easier to be pleased by the reasons of why we need the automobiles than the reasons of why we need the cities. The cars are a big need in the suburbs, because sometimes there is a very long distance between A and B. But you really need to figure out how the city works before you can know what to do about the traffic.

‘Cities are living organisms in which streets are the lifeblood’. The Urban Design Reader, Jacobs, Jane 1961

Watching the city people hanging around in candy stores, bars and drinking on bus stops, planners have made a assumption; that if these people had decent homes, with a more private outdoor place, they wouldn’t be on the streets.
People, who have made this assumption, have completely misunderstood the city. The point of the social life on the streets, is that its public and it brings people together. Its people who don’t know each other, and don’t care to know each other, that still are being put together in a public area.
The streets need to be safe, so the people that are using them fell safe. Other things the public streets needs to give the people are; privacy, trust and togetherness. If a street gives this, then a lot of people will use it.

Physical conditions for urban life
‘ Multifunctional neighborhoods
‘ Short blocks and connected street systems
‘ Varied age residential areas
‘ High concentration of people

References:
The Urban Design Reader, Jacobs, Jane 1961

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