It was nice of the city to name part of Hudson Street after Jane Jacobs, the author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities and pioneering scourge of overdeveloping assholes like Robert Moses. What would happen if there were another Jacobs around today to take on real estate and urban planning interests? Actually we can tell you, because Jacobs’ son has denounced the current rezoning plan for Coney Island. Ned Jacobs, now a Vancouver activist, says he’s “appalled” at the four planned high-rise towers that would screw up the ocean views at Coney, the dinky space that would be devoted to amusements, etc. “This rezoning plan for Coney Island does not appear to reflect the urban values and planning principles [Jane Jacobs] espoused,” says Jacobs fils. And here is the result: you are reading about it on the internet, and that, like reading the editorials of the New York Times, will make zero difference in what the people with money and power finally decide to do with the place. Because there are no consequences to what they’re doing, electoral or otherwise, there’s no reason why they should care what you think about it [play “The More You Know” theme here].
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2009