The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs, is a greatly influential book on the subject of urban planning in the 20th century. First published in 1961 by Random House, the book is a critique of modernist planning policies claimed by Jacobs to be destroying many existing inner-city communities.
Reserving her most vitriolic criticism for the "rationalist" planners (specifically Robert Moses) of the 1950s and 1960s, Jacobs argued that modernist urban planning rejects the city, because it rejects human beings living in a community characterized by layered complexity and seeming chaos. The modernist planners used deductive reasoning to find principles by which to plan cities. Among these policies the most violent was urban renewal; the most prevalent was and is the separation of uses (i.e., residential, industrial, commercial). These policies, she claimed, destroy communities and innovative economies by creating isolated, unnatural urban spaces.
In their place Jacobs advocated "four generators of diversity": "The necessity for these four conditions is the most important point this book has to make. In combination, these conditions create effective economic pools of