Citizen Jane

Citizen Jane

Battle for the City

DVD - 2017
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It is a timely tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power for the sake of a better world. Arguably, no one did more to shape our understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and writer who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects.
Publisher: [Orland Park, Illinois] : MPI Home Video, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017, Package design
©2016, Program content
Branch Call Number: DVD 307.1216/CITIZEN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (93 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
video file,DVD video,region 1
Alternative Title: Battle for the city


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Aug 27, 2018

We admire the impressive buildings and beautiful bridges that make a city attractive, with little thought to what all goes into the actual process of bringing them into being. In congested, populated areas, usually something must be removed in order to build something new. All too often that "something" is people, neighborhoods, homes. What is it that truly makes a city, a city? Robert Moses, the legendary figure who pretty much created the existing NYC infrastructure single-handedly, through determination, chutzpah, and ruthlessness, famously said, "You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs." With alarming frequency, however, too many such eggs were broken without a clear picture of the eventual impact; notably, on people. Jane Jacobs was a journalist who recognized how the soul of a city is in its people, and if you remove the neighborhoods where people can gather, you destroy the city. This documentary gives us a glimpse into what happened when the people of New York City began to stand up to Moses, clamoring to protect their neighborhoods when faced with the bulldozer of progress. We also see what really happens when public housing projects are put in to replace "slums," and the true impact on the life of the neighborhood. Filled with plenty of great archival footage from the mid-century period.

May 11, 2018

This documentary features wonderful vintage video of 1930s New York City. The modernists wanted to eliminate street culture by eliminating streets with sidewalks. The Lower Manhattan Expressway was suppose to connect the Holland Tunnel with the Williamsburg Bridge. Where would all of these cars using the proposed expressway park in Lower Manhattan? I would rate "Citizen Jane" at 4.0 stars.


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