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Jane Jacobs' Decades Of Ideas For An Ideal City Still Matters Today

Travelers Today       By    JC Santos

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 06:26 AM EDT

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jane jacobs, robert moses, new york city, architecture, city planning us, city planning 2017, poor city planning 2017, documentaries

Jane Jacobs was a robust journalist who put forward how Robert Moses, a renowned construction icon, almost destroyed the essence of New York City with his uncanny ability of "backroom politics" and amalgamation that could have easily destroyed the city's five boroughs. The amazing "David v. Goliath" story still echoes its lessons and motivations in the modern days, with Jane Jacobs' story gaining more audience generated by a new film in her honor.

According to CityLab, Matt Tyrnauer's "Citizen Jane: Battle For The City" tells Jane Jacobs' true story of the '60s and early '70s focused on destructive urban renewal designed to create profit for politicians and contractors, namely Jacobs' primary target Robert Moses. Moses, known as "Big Bob the Builder" during the time is focused on extending Fifth Avenue with a 10-lane line from Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side, 10 blocks to penetrate with his project.

Jane Jacobs was part of the "Architectural Forum" according to The Guardian. Jacobs spoke out against poor planning philosophies used by Moses, which she viewed used the objectives of Ebenezer Howard and Le Corbusier. Jacobs found the two's concepts of cities as "dignified cemeteries" that are well-kept. Jacobs was all for a "real city" that is safe and cities such as this are attractive, have shops, cafes and bars all with "busy street life" compared to "asserting order on a messy metropolis" through forceful urban plans.

Tyranauer's plan for his film is to have everyone see Jacob's stand for minorities during her time. She was against complete urbanization and bad city planning ideas and citizens could learn to be vigilant from Jacobs. Tyranauer said Jacobs was a skeptic and people must always "look and listen for themselves" and "act to make the changes that would help their respective communities improve and thrive."

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