"Jane Jacobs is variously known as the guru of cities, an urban legend—“part analyst, part activist, part prophet.” In the more than forty years since the publication of her groundbreaking book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), her influence has been extraordinary—not only on architects, community workers, and planners but also on Nobel Prize–winning economists and ecologists. As one critic recently put it, “Jacobs’s influence confirms that books matter. It isn’t easy to cite another writer who has had a comparable impact in our time.” A couple of years ago, she won the top American award for urban planning, the Vincent Scully Prize. This in itself was unusual, not only because she regularly vilifies planners, but also because with the exception of the Order of Canada and a few other prizes, she typically turns down awards—some thirty honorary degrees, including one from Harvard. Jacobs herself wasn’t interested in finishing university—she went to Columbia for just two years."
"A new report by the Pew Research Center shows that rising income inequality has led to an increasing number of Americans clustering in neighborhoods in which most residents are like them, either similarly affluent or similarly low income."
DB: Economic deprivation both within and between nations are increasing as the world becomes further globalized. American is no exception to this as the current recession continues to impact not just how people live their lives but where as well. As the middle class continues to shrink, the location of you residence is becoming a stronger indicator of your socioeconomic standing in society. The issue is not only that both opposite ends of the nation’s wealth spectrum are expanding but also that they our clustering together creating entire communities segregated by income. What role does gentrification play in this? How does income affect who is moving in and who is being displaced? What effects will this have for American society concerning which communities voice is heard?