The Life That We’ll Never Live
In our lives today, we take advantage of all the luxuries that are presented daily. Freedom alone is one of the greatest luxuries we possess as an American nation. In Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs and Utopia by Thomas Moore, we are presented two life styles, which some might consider very similar in various ways. Both authors focus on a peaceful living lifestyle, to better the people of the nation. Although some of their specific details are different, I believe that Jacobs would definitely approve of the features that More develops in Utopia. Utopia occupies a crescent-shaped island that curves in on itself, enclosing a large bay and protecting it from the ocean and wind. The bay functions as a huge harbor. Access to the bay is impeded by submerged rocks, the locations of which are known only to Utopians. The bay allows for easy internal shipping and travel, but makes any sort of external attack or unwanted contact unlikely. This allows the Utopians to remain as isolated as they want to be. This is quite different to the geographical settings Jacob presents. In fact, Jacob’s city settings kind of resemble the neighborhoods in New York City. New York consists of different boroughs which and in Jacobs book, there are many small cities within one. Jacobs briefly explains influential ideas in orthodox planning, starting from Howard’s Garden city, indeed a set of self-sufficient small towns, ideal for all but those with a plan for their own lives. Concurrently, City Beautiful was developed to sort out the monuments from the rest of the city, and assemble them in a unit. Later Le Corbusier devised the Radiant City, composed of skyscrapers within a park. Jacobs argues that all these are irrelevant to how cities work, and therefore moves on to explain workings of cities in the first part of the book. As you can see, the geographical settings of these two authors are completely different. On one hand you have...
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