A timely revisitation of renowned urbanist-activist Jane Jacobs' lifework, What We See invites thirty pundits and practitioners across fields to refresh Jacobs' economic, social and urban planning theories for the present day. Combining personal and professional observations with meditations on Jacobs' insights, essayists bring their diverse experience to bear to sketch the blueprints for the living city. The book models itself after Jacobs' collaborative approach to city and community building, asking community members and niche specialists to share their knowledge with a broader community, to work together toward a common goal of building the 21st-century city. The resulting collection of original essays expounds and expands Jacobs' ideas on the qualities of a vibrant, robust urban area. It offers the generalist, the activist, and the urban planner practical examples of the benefits of planning that encourages community participation, pedestrianism, diversity, environmental responsibility, and self-sufficiency. Bob Sirman, director of the Canada Council for the Arts, describes how built form should be an embodiment of a community narrative. Daniel Kemmis, former Mayor of Missoula, shares an imagined dialog with Jacobs, discussing the delicate interconnection between cities and their surrounding rural areas. And Roberta Brandes Gratz?urban critic, author, and former head of Public Policy of the New York State Preservation League?asserts the importance of architectural preservation to environmentally sound urban planning practices. What We See asks us all to join the conversation about next steps for shaping socially just, environmentally friendly, and economically prosperous urban communities.
Lynne Elizabeth is founder of New Village Press and past President of Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR). She is co-editor of "Works of Heart: Building Village through the Arts" (2006) and "Alternative Construction: Contemporary Natural Building Methods" (2000, 2005), and a contributing author for "Ecovillage Living" (2002) and "Sustainable Architecture White Papers" (2000). Ms. Elizabeth previously produced periodicals on sustainable community development, "New Village Journal" and "Earthword Journal." She founded the former Eos Institute for the Study of Sustainable Living and has served since 1998 as committee member and former juror for the Berkeley Prize for Architectural Design Excellence.Stephen Goldsmith has worked as an artist, educator, and activist for affordable housing and community development. He was the founder and Director of Artspace in Salt Lake City and led the development of live/work, mixed-use space through the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. He was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Design School, and served as planning director in Salt Lake City before becoming Director of the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship. He is Director of the Center for the Living City and Associate Professor at the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Utah.ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE: Janine Benyus, Hillary Brown, Robert Cowan, David Crombie, Pierre Desrochers, Samuli Leppala, Matias Sendoa Echanove, Nan Ellin, Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Jan Gehl, Arlene Goldbard, Roberta Brandes Gratz, Ken Greenberg, Nabeel Hamdi, Chester Hartman, Sanford (Sandy) Ikeda, Allan Jacobs, Daniel Kemmis, Jaime Lerner, Elizabeth Macdonald, Clare Cooper Marcus, Richard Register, Mary Rowe, Janette Sadik-Khan, Saskia Sassen, Ron Shiffman, Robert Sirman, Rahul Srivastava, James Stockard, Ray Suarez, Deanne Taylor, Alexie M. Torres-Fleming, Susan Witt, and Peter Zlonicky.