Out In The Open

How the legacy of Jane Jacobs shaped modern day gentrification

Jane Jacobs has been called the greatest thinker of the 20th century, but have her ideas contributed to the current climate of gentrification?
Influential thinker Jane Jacobs radically changed thoughts on city living with her ideas on density and modernist urban planning. (Getty Images)

Contemporary architects, civic planners and city dwellers, will all agree that the legacy of journalist Jane Jacobs is undeniable. Her seminal 1961 text The Death and Life of Great American Cities radically changed the way we think about urban planning and city living. 

Fifty-five years later, her thoughts continue to be cited by city planners, mayors, and real estate developers. But in our current climate, where gentrification is pushing so many people out of their homes, could Jane Jacobs' ideas be to blame? 

Former Toronto mayor David Miller, and journalist DW Gibson talk about her legacy and its effects on Toronto.