The Urban Archetypes of Jane Jacobs and Ebenezer Howard: Contradiction and Meaning in City Form
Ebenezer Howard, an Englishman, and Jane Jacobs, a naturalized Canadian, personify the twentieth century’s opposing outlooks on cities. Howard envisaged small towns, newly built from scratch and comprised of single-family homes with small gardens, while Jacobs embraced existing inner-city neighbourhoods that emphasized the verve of the living street. Both figures have had their share of supporters as well as detractors: Howard's conceptualization received criticism for its uniformity and alienation from the city core, while Jacobs’s urban vision came to be recognized as the result of invasive gentrification.
Presenting Howard and Jacobs within a psychocultural context, The Urban Archetypes of Jane Jacobs and Ebenezer Howard addresses our urban crisis in its recognition that "city form is a gendered, allegorical medium expressing femininity and masculinity within two founding features of the built environment: void and volume." These founding contrasts represent both tension as well as the opportunity for fusion between pairs of urban polarities: human scale against superscale, gait against speed, and spontaneity against surveillance. In their respective attitudes, Howard and Jacobs have come to embrace the two ancient archetypes of the Garden and the Citadel, leaving it to future generations to blend their two contrarian stances.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 280 pages
- Illustrations: 8
- Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.1in x 9.1in
"Most books on urban design look at social, economic, and environmental issues, but very few approach the topic from a psychological and mythic point of view, as does The Urban Archetypes of Jane Jacobs and Ebenezer Howard. This work represents a significant contribution to the field, and brings together widespread scholarship, with references to philosophy, history, and literature that I have rarely found in the urban design opus. This is anything but a modest contribution: its evident aspiration of connecting multiple threads of thought about urbanism is ambitious, and impressive."
Thomas Fisher, Director of the Minnesota Design Center and Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design, University of Minnesota
"The Urban Archetypes of Jane Jacobs and Ebenezer Howard is a very compelling and intriguing work, full of unique insights and observations."
Scott Larson, Department of Urban Studies, Queen’s College
Author InformationAbraham Akkerman is a professor in the Departments of Geography and Planning and Philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan.
Table of contents
List of Figures
Introduction: Modernity and Its Urban Context
1. Paradigms of City Form in the Urbanism of Ebenezer Howard and Jane Jacobs
2. Howard vs. Jacobs: Ideal City or Authentic Street?
3. Twentieth-Century Transformations of the Garden and the City
4. The Neighbourhood as a State of Wonderment: The Urbanist Dream of Jane Jacobs
5. Spectacle and Contempt in City Form: Howard and Jacobs
6. The Ghost of Howard: Advent of the Masterplan and the Loss of Place
7. "Growth Ain’t Expansion": Jacobs in Toronto
8. Urban Space: Medium or Message?
Subjects and Courses