Citizen Jane: Battle for the City at Real Art Ways

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Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

In 1960 Jane Jacobs’s 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 an activist, who was involved in many fights in mid-century New York, to stop “master builder” Robert Moses from running roughshod over the city.

This film retraces the battles for the city as personified by Jacobs and Moses, as urbanization moves to the very front of the global agenda.

Many of the clues for formulating solutions to the dizzying array of urban issues can be found in Jacobs’s prescient text, and a close second look at her thinking and writing about cities is very much in order.

This film sets out to examine the city of today though the lens of one of its greatest champions.

SPECIAL EVENT – Tuesday, May 9, after the 6:30 PM screening.

Panel Discussion
“Jane Jacobs Today: Hartford & Beyond”
The panel will explore how/why Hartford’s urban renewal projects have changed and how this affects us today. 


Sara Bronin – Thomas F. Gallivan Chair in Real Property Law and Faculty Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law at the University of Connecticut. Her research examines property, land use, historic preservation, green building, and renewable energy law.

Panel Members

Xiangming Chen – Dean and Director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Global Urban Studies and Sociology at Trinity College

Norman W. Garrick – Associate Professor at University of Connecticut. His research focuses on sustainable transportation, urban planning, transit planning, bicyclist and pedestrian facility design and planning and urban street networks, urban streets and shared spaces.

Tyler Smith, FAIA – urban and historic preservation architect, Managing Principal of Smith Edwards McCoy Architects

Renee Tribert – Project Manager: Making Places: Connecticut Mills Survey at Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation

"Gives new life to the battles Jane Jacobs fought. She and her ideas are more necessary than ever."

Brooklyn Magazine

"Citizen Jane is a fascinating call to arms for urban dwellers who don't mind fighting city hall."

Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

"In the context of today's stymied political trench wars, there is inspiration to be found in Jacobs' example of local activism, original thinking, and rational argument blossoming into useful change."

Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Citizen Jane takes on an invigorating richness as it delves into issues of sexism (Jacobs, a respected journalist, was often painted by her foes as an angry mother), economic despair and the complex idea of the "master builder."

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

"…the movie just about pulses with contemporary resonance…as relevant and alive as the place you live."

Owen Gleiberman, Variety