Jane Jacobs 1916-2006
If you haven’t read her books–most famous of which is the profoundly influential The Death and Life of Great American Cities–you must. She was a gifted writer with brilliant (yet common sense) ideas relating to a surprisingly wide range of topics. Interviews with her conveyed a sharp wit, fiery passion and unflagging curiosity, even in her older years. Jacobs’ books are some of my personal favourites and although I never met her I will miss her dearly. We’ve lost one of our time’s best minds and one most special generalist.
We are living, I am convinced, in one of the most intellectually exciting times the human race has ever gone through. We are emerging from this linear cause-and-effect way of seeing the world into a way that has really been led by the ecologists, into a Web world, beginning to understand relationships in quite a different way. And it is affecting everything. And no end of people have grasped this and are seeing the world differently and analyzing things differently and seeing possibilities differently–basically in a very hopeful way. And I think this is awfully exciting. People who are younger than I am, you are lucky. You can play a part in what I think can be an extremely hopeful stage.