Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Release April 21, 2017 (Limited)
Cast Jane Jacobs
Director Matt Tynauer
Genres Documentary
Studio Films We Like/Films We Like
Length 92 mins.


In 1961, urban activist Jane Jacobs' paradigm shifting book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds, with its exploration of the consequences of modern planners' and architects' reconfiguration of cities. Jacobs was also involved in many fights in mid-century New York, to stop city planner Robert Moses from running a four-lane road through Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. She exposed Moses' treachery, including his frequent so-called "public meetings" held at short notice, and a press release from a phony community group in support of the redevelopment that came from the same typewriter used to produce a press release from the real estate company hired to redevelop the area.

Following her 1968 arrest in NYC while fighting to put a stop to the Lower Manhattan Expressway, Jacobs, her architect husband and their two sons moved to Toronto. She left in triumph, as the expressway project had lost steam, and plans for it were scrapped the following summer. In Toronto, she soon became the leader for the opposition to the Spadina Expressway. She also fought for citizen participation in urban planning.

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