Jane Jacobs’ Cities and the Wealth of Nations and The Nature of Economies really gave me a new perspective on the economy. In chapter two of Cities and the Wealth of Nations, I learned that cities might make a better model of economic behavior than nations. The assumption that nations are the structures for understanding economic life would have a hard time explaining what happened to the hamlet of Bardou. The import-replacing concept seems to have lots of potential for making sustainable cities. Cities would reduce their imports of that good and replace it with innovated methods of producing that good with their own materials. They remain flexible with their methods to withstand the changes from distant cities. We use nations as our foundation for economic decisions and now we have cities so focused on foreign trade that they become fragile to their circumstances. We have to question our basic assumptions in order to create new ideas that satisfy human needs.
In chapter four of The Nature of Economies, I learned how businesses grow, diversify in their production and start exporting to out of their area. They grow however they can and copy good ideas. The growth then affects other industry and the city as a whole becomes an exporter. This self-refueling of the exports and gaining new imports are an interesting idea of growth. Jane also shows that diversity should not be forgotten when expanding a city’s exports. The lack of diversity removes the ability for a city to adapt and with that it’s ability to survive. These ideas show a good direction of how our economy should head for the benefit of everyone.