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This title is out of print. Copies for sale are from our archives and/or are late returns from bookstores.


“City planning is not only the design of physical spaces. Its essential elements include consideration and care for people, and including them in the planning process! Burnham’s Plan of Chicago could have been a comprehensive one, but it wasn’t. Every person—especially every city planner—who reads the 1909 Plan of Chicago should read this book. You will be nodding throughout and find yourself astounded  that so much was missing.”

—Karen L. Stonehouse, AICP, President, American Planning Association—Illinois Chapter


City Beautiful, City Livable


What Would Jane Say? tells the tale of two approaches to city-building in the early 1900s and the people and ideas behind them. It also tells the story of what was created in Chicago and what could have been created. In 1909, architecture giant Daniel Burnham, Edward Bennett, and the Commercial Club of Chicago developed the Plan of Chicago, primarily with personal and business interests in mind. They subscribed to the City Beautiful movement, which assumed that a city that was attractive and well organized would resolve the vexing troubles around them. At the same time, the formidable Jane Addams and many female contemporaries were engaged in city-building work of a different sort. Their achievements still resonate today, even if the women's names do not. They subscribed to City Livable ideas that addressed the social, economic, and cultural needs of the population.


The city that is, the city that might have been.


After author Janice Metzger sets a detailed stage of Chicago at the turn of twentieth century the players and the movements, the problems and the reform efforts, the conflicts and the possibilities she takes readers into wonderful speculative chapters in the areas of transportation, law, housing, neighborhood development, immigration, labor, health, and education. What would Jane Addams and her peers say if they had been involved in the Plan of Chicago? Using painstaking research, historical detail, and a pinch of imagination, Metzger thinks she has a pretty good idea...


What Would Jane Say? is not only an insightful historical work that highlights the work of Jane Addams and her progressive contemporaries, it is also a helpful guide that offers valuable lessons and ideas that planners and public-policy makers can apply today. If you are considering a career in urban planning, social work, or local government, What Would Jane Say? is a recommended read. There is much to glean from this book that speaks to why and how social factors should be incorporated in the crafting of any master development plan.”

—Alderman Manny Flores, 1st Ward, Chicago


Janice Metzger (Jan. 28, 1950—Feb. 22, 2010) resided in Chicago almost all of her adult life, over 30 of those in Wicker Park where she remained involved until the end with various neighborhood organizations and issues. When her three sons were growing up, she immersed herself in community issues, particularly public school issues. From 1995 to 2009, Metzger worked for the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a public policy and advocacy organization. She spent a decade monitoring the regional planning agencies, advocating for more public participation, more attention and resources for physically active travel, and more transit. She is survived by her partner, John Paige, and her three adult sons, all of whom share her passion for Chicago and for urban issues. Janice Metzger has lived in Chicago almost all of her adult life, and has a passion for the city and all urban issues. When her three sons were children, she held a number of voluntary positions with parent and school organizations, and part of the Desegregation Monitoring Commission. In 1987, following a 40-day teacher’s strike, then-mayor Harold Washington named Metzger one of four co-chairs of the Parent Community Council of his Education Summit. The Summit went on to propose sweeping reforms of the system and to win most of the legislative changes needed to enact the reforms. During this period she was also on the board of Catalyst, an education reform journal published by the Community Renewal Society. Since 1995, Metzger has worked for the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a public policy and advocacy organization located in Wicker Park. She spent a decade monitoring the regional planning agencies and advocating for more public participation (when it didn't happen, she organized a broad-based public involvement process for transportation planning), more attention and resources for physically active travel, and more transit.

What Would Jane Say?

  • Author: Janice Metzger

    Imprint: Lake Claremont Press

    ISBN: 978-1893121-90-4

    Pub Date: 2007

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