For those questioning city planning policies that displace longtime residents and create urban landscapes dominated by cars and concrete, we’ve got a film for you.
Jane Jacobs, who took on these forces decades ago, is the subject of “Citizen Jane: The Battle for the City,” a documentary that is screening tomorrow (Friday) at The Parkway theater and running there for a week.
The film tells the story of Jacobs’ battle with developers who threatened to demolish New York City’s most historic neighborhoods and offers a lesson “in the power of the average person to push back,” as the producers put it.
Director Matt Tyrnauer “vividly brings to life Jacobs’ 1960s showdown with ruthless construction kingpin Robert Moses over his plan to raze lower Manhattan to make way for a highway, a dramatic struggle over the very soul of the neighborhood.”
Screening the film at Sundance last year, Tyrnauer said his look at the author of the seminal 1961 “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” is especially timely now.
“Jacobs’s ideas about healthy, just, and vibrant cities being planned and empowered from the bottom up are very important today, when discredited top-down planning is still destroying cities and lives all around the world,” he said.
Sponsored by the Maryland Film Festival and Bikemore, the bicycling and safe-streets advocacy group, the week of screening includes next Tuesday (June 6) a panel discussion following the showing of the film.
“We’ll use Jane Jacobs as a starting point for a conversation about the role of policy, activism and development on how neighborhoods change,” the group said in a notice about the event.
The panel participants include: Kristen Jeffers, founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Urbanist; Del. Robbyn Lewis, (46th District) and Liz Cornish, executive director of Bikemore (moderator).
For ticket information and showtimes for “Citizen Jane” screenings at The Parkway June 2-8, see the website.
June 6 Panel Discussion Details
6 pm: Doors to Parkway Theater open
7-8:30 pm: “Citizen Jane” Screening
8:30-9:15 pm: Panel discussion
Tickets available at the door: $10 general admission and $8 Friends of Maryland Film Festival.