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Urban planning author, activist dies at 89

Jane Jacobs wrote 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities'

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Jane Jacobs, whose 1961 classic work, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," changed the way people think about communities and urban planning, died Tuesday at the age of 89, media accounts said.   The legendary urbanist, writer and activist, a longtime Toronto resident, died in her sleep Tuesday at a Toronto hospital, Random House publicist Sally Marvin told Associated Press.   Jacobs' son, James, was with her at the time, reports said. The author, who would have turned 90 on May 4, had been in poor health, according to reports.   The publication of "The Death and Life," Jacobs' best-known book, "triggered a profound shift in the way we look at cities," Business Week said in 2004. The book was dubbed "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning," by the New York Times.   Jacobs argued for higher density, for more people on the street and yet for a scale and a neighborhood identity that would give control to the residents, keepi...