Citizen Jane. The battle for the City

Samson, K. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


In 1960 Jane Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds, with its exploration of the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfiguration of cities. Jacobs was also an activist, who was involved in many fights in mid-century New York, to stop “master builder” Robert Moses from running roughshod over the city.

The film Citizen Jane traces the battles for the city as personified by Jacobs and Moses, as urbanization moves to the very front of the global agenda. Many of the clues for formulating solutions to the dizzying array of urban issues can be found in Jacobs’s prescient text, and a close second look at her thinking and writing about cities is very much in order. This film sets out to examine the city of today though the lens of one of its greatest champions.

As part of the international summer school ‘New Urban Life Across the Globe: Activism and Change in a World of Cities’ at the University of Copenhagen, and in collaboration with Cinemateket, you can watch the film with an introduction and followed by a debate with Professors Kristine Samson (RUC) and Anders Blok (KU), moderated by Rasmus Christian Elling (KU).
Period1 Aug 2017
Held atKøbenhavns Universitet, Denmark
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Urban activism
  • urban planning
  • urban design
  • modernism
  • architecture
  • mediatized activism
  • neoliberal cities
  • Jane Jacobs
  • planning paradigms