Mosaic II - spring 2012, Section 066
Professor J. Benin
South Street. The home of punk rockers, hippies, poets, musicians, food fanatics, and everything in between. How has it become so popular amongst all who to the naked eye have nothing in common? Why has it become a home to such diversity, a refuge to arts of all kind? Cultures and ethnicities and languages all different, yet what seems to make them all connect? It's not anything, but everything. South Street is a melting pot - offering just about everything from German ice cream to a glimpse of an Arabian night. It has been a booming street since its birth, evolving with the generations, and allowing the neighborhood around to thrive with it.
Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist, was best known for her influence on urban studies and new and more modern layouts of cities. Her prominent book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (1961) posed the argument that urban renewal did not take into consideration the needs of the majority of city folk, and introduced the concepts of sociology such as "eyes on the street" and "social capital". Jacobs is well known for organizing many "grassroots" efforts to protect many neighborhoods from "slum clearance", with her efforts and strong pursuits leading her to even getting arrested. So what does this woman and what all seems to be useless information about her have to do with South Street? If not for her inventive layout of city neighborhoods, the South Street we know today might not have even existed, let alone look the way it does. It was one of her key principles of concentration that proved it was one of the main ways a neighborhood could truly thrive.
“Condition 1: The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two. These must insure the presence of people who go outdoors on...