Urban Design: Walt Disney and Jane Jacobs | Sustainable Cities Collective


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Early iteration of EPCOT. From sites.google.com/site/theoriginalepcot.

In this post, Daan Kolkman compares the urban visions of Jane Jacobs and Walk Disney. Jane Jacobs is sort of the patron saint of urban planning. She is known for defending Greenwich Village from a freeway proposed by Robert Moses, and for her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, where she defended high-density, mixed-use living. Disney is best known as the creator if the Walk Disney Corporation, but as part of that he created Disneyland, EPCOT and a series of other theme parks. I think Disney’s vision of how cities should be is very interesting. For instance, Main Street USA in Disneyland is the embodiment of a traditional small-town main street: mixed-use buildings, public transit, activity on the street, and lots of pedestrians. Meanwhile, EPCOT is a great image of what people thought the future of cities would be in the 1960s. Kolkman points out that both advocated watching how people actually use space and then make small plans (rather than large-scale master plans) based on those observations. They were both visionaries and their effects on urban design are immeasurable.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

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