Imagine running a highway through Washington Square Park. That could have happened. Urban planner Robert Moses put the idea on the table in the 1950s. But, then Jane Jacobs intervened. The urbanist and activist led the successful fight against the four-lane highway, as well as other Robert Moses' projects. Jacobs was opposed to the kind of city planning that involves big development and urban renewal projects that tear down old communities. She’s best known for her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Jacobs’ ideas have often been met with criticism from developers and city planners. But, a lot of planning experts agree that her work helped to shape modern thinking about Jane Jacobs would have turned 100 on May 4th. Several activities are planned in New York City and beyond this month to celebrate her life and legacy, including an event called Jane’s Walk. On this edition of Cityscape, we're exploring the life and legacy of Jane Jacobs.

Direct download: cs160501.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

In a city like New York that’s constantly evolving, you often hear grumblings that neighborhoods just aren’t what they used to be.  You even have people who miss the old Times Square as gritty and crime ridden as it once was. Further downtown, St. Marks Place is frequently the subject of that kind of debate.  The three block stretch in the East Village has long had a reputation as being a hotspot for counterculture. It’s synonymous with names like Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol and the Ramones. But, some feel that pizzazz has been lost to gentrification.  Regardless, the tiny street has a long and rich history. Journalist Ada Calhoun grew up on St. Marks Place, and recently penned a book about it.  It’s called St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street. Ada and Cityscape host George Bodarky recently met up to take a walk through her old neighborhood. 

Direct download: cs160410.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT



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