What a privilege it has been to host Jane Jacobs! Jane Jacobs & the New Urban Ecology, our symposium in her honor, was, if I may say so, a great success. Thanks to Robert Campbell, architecture critic for the Boston Globe, and Ms. Jacobss appearance on the nationally syndicated radio show, The Connection, our symposium reached an even wider audience than we had anticipated. Nearly 250 people attended it, including several Massachusetts and Boston officials, architects, planners, urbanists, landscape architects, concerned citizens, presidents of not-for-profits, and even a few lawyers and law students. This is appropriate, for none of the sacking of cities which Jacobs attacks in her The Death and Life of Great American Cities would have been possible without the intense collaboration of wrong-headed city planners, developers, city officials, bankers, and lawyers.
Anticity planning remains amazingly sturdy in American cities, writes Ms. Jacobs in her foreword to the Modern Library edition of Death and Life. Unfortunately, evidence abounds. Just take a walk around the downtowns of cities like St. Louis, Buffalo, and Philadelphia. They are full of the all too recent applications of losing anticity planning orthodoxy. We seem to be addicted to large-scale solutions which require massive capital investment. Larger solutions are more easily financed since capital has been increasingly centralized in the last forty years. Big solutions, however, do not work for cities. We have already razed enough neighborhoods. Look at Government Center in Boston. It is a wasteland where there was once the teeming life of the West End.
Whats needed instead is incremental investment: small loans, minor improvements to property, changes in bus schedules, mixing of commercial, industrial, and residential space. These small changes allow for greater diversity of life and livelihoods, Jane Jacobss greatest insight into the ecology of cities, in my opinion.
In light of that insight, I would like to thank all those who made their incremental contributions to the symposiums success. First, I would like to thank our honoree, Jane Jacobs, for flying down to Boston with her son, Jim, from her home in Toronto. Just the week before she had traveled to Washington to receive the National Building Museums Vincent Scully Prize. We appreciate her stamina.
None of this would have been possible without our many sponsors and staff, so I would like to thank them. First, our advisor Zyg [*PG534]Plater was instrumental in contacting Associate Dean Dick Keeley of the Wallace E. Carroll School of Management. Because of Dean Keeleys foresight and friendship with Jane Jacobs, her papers have found their home at Boston Colleges John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections. I would also like to thank the other sponsors of this event. Jack Neuhauser, Academic Vice President, was very generous to the symposium effort. Dean John Garvey of the Law School was similarly generous. Furthermore, the Universitys College of Arts and Sciences and Environmental Studies Program contributed to our efforts, as did Bill Shutkin, President of New Ecology, Inc. Thanks also to all of the Environmental Affairs staff who did everything from ordering food to arranging airline tickets. Likewise, many thanks are due Roz Kaplan and John Gordon, who helped organize the event and publish the issue you are reading.
Two Environmental Affairs editors were especially helpful. Lawrence Flint did a fine job publicizing this extremely well attended event. His posters and media materials were top-notch. And finally I would like to thank Donna Patalano, our Symposium Editor. When we needed someone to coordinate this massive undertaking, Donna jumped at the opportunity. Her organizational dynamism was crucial to the symposiums success. It was a joy to work with Lawrence and Donna.
As Environmental Affairs celebrates its thirtieth anniversary, I hope that this issue shows what EA has always shown: that a law review can be more than a place where law professors communicate with each other. I hope this issue reaches as wide an audience as was in attendance at the symposium itself. The following articles speak for themselves, but it may be helpful to read the symposium articles first and then read Jane Jacobss Random Comments as a response to those articles. Enjoy!
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