Poster for the documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City means a lot to us at Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau. Jane's Walk partnered with the Bytowne Cinema on a presentation of the film when it premiered in Ottawa in April, 2017, and we showed it again in 2018 as a Jane's Walk film night at Saint Paul's University. I was very excited to find it was available to stream from TVO Today. If you can't get out to Jane's Walk, this might be the next best thing. Get out the popcorn, put up your feet, and learn more about Jane Jacobs and what she was fighting for.
When urban renewal became synonymous with the destruction of historic neighborhoods, writer and urban planning advocate Jane Jacobs battled (and beat) some of New York's most powerful people to save communities like Greenwich Village and Little Italy. She later fought (and won) a similar fight in Toronto against the Spadina Expressway. The film is not a biography of Jane, but it documents how her ideas galvanized urban dwellers in NYC and how the fight for the city helped shape her arguments in turn.