This volume begins with the premise that the deepest respect is shown through honest critique. One of the greatest problems in understanding the influence of the author on cities and planning is that she has for much of the past five decades been "Saint Jane, the housewife" who upended urban renewal and gave us back our cities. Over time, she has become a saintly stick figure, a font of simple wisdom for urban health that allows many to recite her ideas and few to understand their complexity. The author has been the victim of her own success.
This book gives this important thinker the respect she deserves, reminding planning professionals of the full range and complexity of her ideas and offering thoughtful critiques on the unintended consequences of her ideas on cities and planning today. It also looks at the international relevance – or lack thereof – of her work, with essays on urbanism in Abu Dhabi, Argentina, China, the Netherlands, and elsewhere.