Jacobs Great Expectations

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“Handsome is as handsome does. All that glitters is not gold” (Jacobs 15). The appearance of certain areas in a city can be deceiving. The planned green areas might be aesthetically pleasing but are of no use to the residents of that area. They require storefronts and public sidewalks utilized for socializing. Therefore, Jacobs’ main point throughout the reading is that a city cannot be planned as a utopia. A city is too complex. It must develop and grow with the people who reside within. Jacobs focuses on the important uses of city sidewalks such as socializing, trust, and public safety. On the parallel side, de Certeau emphasizes the role of pedestrians in a city. Through these readings it becomes evident that a city is more than its buildings.…show more content…
People are constantly moving about and experiencing different views of the city. For example, people on the top floor of skyscrapers look down on the city as if they were gods (de Certeau 111). They possess an all-encompassing view of the city and the life below. The pedestrians experience something entirely different. They have first hand knowledge of the city and are able to explore the various niches and alleyways-things that give the city character. De Certeau believes that being able to see and read the city is vital to its survival. Therefore, I’m in complete agreement with de Certeau. A city cannot be planned without taking into consideration the people living within it. A city must be functional and useful to residents and pedestrians. However, de Certeau only explains the theoretical side of his argument. The explanation of the application is decidedly lacking in his argument. Moreover, the author should have included the integration of pedestrians with automobiles and factories (the unsavory parts of the city) because no true city is solely a walking one. Therefore, de Certeau provides a convincing argument but does not thoroughly explain all parts of his pedestrian
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