On June 6 from 5:30-7:45 p.m., Indiana Landmarks will present one of the first Indiana screenings of the documentary film, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, about journalist and activist Jane Jacobs (1916-2006). Although she was not an urban planner, her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, one of the most influential books in the history of American city planning and community development.
When she lived in New York City, Jacobs led successful grassroots campaigns in the ‘50s and ‘60s against the powerful parks commissioner, public works and transit czar Robert Moses who favored a bulldoze-and-replace approach to urban planning. She fought his proposals to destroy Washington Square Park and the historic buildings of Greenwich Village and carve a ruinous expressway through lower Manhattan. She routinely asked whether we are building cities for people or for cars, a timely question as Indianapolis faces the potential expansion of the downtown interstate.
Director Matt Tyrnauer vividly brings to life Jacobs’ 1960s showdown with Moses over his plan to raze lower Manhattan for the highway, a dramatic struggle over future of New York. According to SXSW, “The movie invites you to sink into her challengingly supple and vibrant analysis of why cities, which we mostly take for granted, are in fact rather magical places. Even if you live in one and think you know it inside out, you come away from ‘Citizen Jane’ understanding, more than you did going in, the special chemistry of what makes a city tick.”
Doors open with a cash bar at 5:30 p.m., followed by the film, 6-7:45 p.m. Purchase tickets here or by calling 317-639-4534.