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Making Sense of Urban Patterns
Why do cities everywhere exhibit the same general patterns of density and development? And how can we explain some striking variations? The streets of Philadelphia roll west through a collage of urban environments familiar to city dwellers nearly everywhere. From Penn Square, the central site of the iconic stone City Hall, Market Street traverses a canyon of concrete and glass office buildings that gradually give way to commercial and apartment structures and mixed uses. A mile from City Hall, the busy thoroughfare crosses the Schuylkill River, and density again picks up as the University of ...
The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia's Commercial Corridors
In her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, Jane Jacobs argued that the "basic requisite" for maintaining safe cities was "a substantial quantity of stores and other public spaces sprinkled along the sidewalks of a district.... Stores, bars and restaurants, as the chief examples, work in several different and complex ways to abet sidewalk safety." In this article, the case of Philadelphia is used to explore the extent to which such neighborhood commercial corridors live up to their promise of maintaining public order and city civility, what factors ...