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Reading Response




Inchapter seven of “TheDeath and Life of Great American Cities”,Jacobs assert that diversity is innate in large cities. The diversityresults from the large number of small scale businesses andmultiplicity of cultures. The author also notes that districts thatare feasible for diversity should feature buildings that vary in ageand condition. Some of the buildings should be old while othersshould be relatively new so that they can differ in the economicyield each structure gains (Jacobs, 2012).

Inchapter 12, the author argues that diversity of a city does not makeit ugly. Moreover, it does not cause ruinous uses or even trafficjam. Many stakeholders in city planning believe that diversity makescities appear ugly, but that happens when the diversity is conductedwith little of no planning. On the other hand, the intricateintegration of structures in cities depicts a highly developed typeof order. Furthermore, she contends that cars do cause traffic jam,but people and buildings that are contribute to the diversity do notcontribute to the disorder (Jacobs, 2012).

Theobservations by this author can be summarized with the quote,“Nothingis permanent, but change.”This quote means that everything is bound to undergo some form ofchanges at a given time. In addition, these changes are driven bynatural conditions in the environment. Similarly, diversity in largetowns occurs gradually and naturally in large cities. As long as thepopulation in a city is increasing, diversity will occursautomatically. The small scale enterprises, number of people,buildings in the city and major economic activities taking place inthe city will keep changing consistently. These factors in turncontribute to the diversities experienced in towns. The changes suchas increase of buildings, cars and people may be undesirable in acity since they might cause chaos and congestion, but such disordercan only occur if the inhabitants of a city fail to initiate changesthat can restore order.


Jacobs,J. (2002). Thedeath and life of great American cities.New York: Random House.