Celebrated for her critique of midcentury urban planning in the United States, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), Jane Jacobs penned another classic in The Economy of Cities (1969). Among its major enduring insights are that innovation is the essence of economic development and that it is the result of individual plans stemming from unpredictable branches of a city’s division of labor.

Sanford Ikeda is professor of economics at Purchase College, State University of New York.
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Other Independent Review articles by Sanford Ikeda
Winter 2011/12 Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDR’s New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning
Fall 2004 The Career of Robert Moses: City Planning as a Microcosm of Socialism