City Builder Book Club: Chapter 9

Part 2:  The conditions for city diversity

Chapter 9: The need for short blocks. 

Jane Jacobs beat me too it. (* This is the only chapter with diagrams)  

Short blocks = more routes, more opportunities to cross, more spots for commercial uses

Chapter 9, p199

….frequent streets and short blocks are valuable because of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighbourhood.  Frequent streets are not an end in themselves.  They are a means towards an end.  If that end- generating diversity and catalysing the plans of many people besides planners- is thwarted by too repressive zoning, or by too regimented construction that precludes the flexible growth of diversity, nothing significant can be accomplished by short blocks.  …The means by which they work (attracting mixtures of uses along with them) and the results they can help accomplish (the growth of diversity) are inextricably related. The relationship is reciprocal.


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