“There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans.”
-Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Welcome to Jane’s Theory, a space where cities are considered a function of human behavior, and that this perspective is urbanism in its truest form. Cities are a reflection not only of the culture and economic status of their hosts, but a reflection of the individuals who reside in them. After all, it is people who create cities, and people who put in the conscious effort to deem them home.
The “Jane” in Jane’s Theory refers to none other than the late Jane Jacobs, an early pioneer of this kind of thinking. Her genuine appreciation for the power of simplicity and flexibility paved the way to the kinds of human-centered design we see today. Her confidence in the citizen’s ability to adapt and care for their environment sets the tone for a community built upon trust. This trust has the power to cultivate neighborhoods that coexist among the ever-growing and diversifying cities that we see today. Cities are expected to produce a consistent output of capital, resources, and opportunities amongst ever-growing – and therefore ever diversifying – populations, and it is crucial to consider how equity of access to resources in the urban setting may continue in a sustainable fashion into the future.