Sociologija 2011 Volume 53, Issue 3, Pages: 257-274
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Jane Jacobs' ideas about the economical nature of urban societies

Pušić Ljubinko

It is not possible at all to understand the ideas that Jane Jacobs had been asserting in her various academic, activistic and research works if we consider only one of these aspects. If we consider, as the very center of her interest for urban societies, only her ideas about large American cities, we put in second plan, to some extent, her ideas covering a much wider spectrum. Particularly, I am referring to her understanding of the relationships between economy, cities and prosperity of nations. Today, after almost thirty years since the publication of “Cities and the Wealth of Nations”, it is easy to notice her ability of anticipation: we analyze ideas about the connections between the roles of national states, globalization and the existence of world cities. When the problem is about the destiny of big cities and their connections to the economy, J. Jacobs assembles the scenario of the historical retrospective and vision, in a similar way to L. Mumford. With a careful reading of her ideas, we become conscious of the extent to which the connecting of urban features allows sociology to understand, to accept many disciplines in contact and use them as complementary. It is not only a cheap, postmodern flirting with the main stream in the center of which lies globalization, but more an opening of humanities to the ideas of I. Wallerstein of a heuristic importance.

Keywords: Jacobs, urban societies, city economy, city-region, national state

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