Talking Jane Jacobs and Urban Planning with Citizen Jane director

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Don’t call “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” a biopic. Matt Tyrnauer’s fleetly paced but exhaustive documentary, having its world premiere at the Hot Docs Cinema today, isn’t concerned with the life of the journalist, self-trained urban planner, and long-time Toronto resident so much as the life of the key idea she brought into the world: that cities like New York and Toronto are not static plots but dynamic entities, constituted by the people who live there and the uses to which they put the space around them. Tyrnauer’s film focuses not on Jacobs’s later career in Toronto, where she brought her grassroots resistance to urban renewal projects and wrote the majority of her plainspoken, observational books and articles, but on her formative years in New York in the mid-1960s, where she took on city planner Robert Moses. Read more.

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