What Would Jane Do?

Posted Wed 12th Apr 2017 | efront


In partnership with ACMI and the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, and in association with janewalks.org, Open House Melbourne will present a special program that examines the work of leading American urbanist and city activist, Jane Jacobs.

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. She had no formal training as a planner, and yet her 1961 opus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, introduced ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail. The impact of Jane Jacobs’ observation, activism, and writing has led to a ‘planning blueprint’ for generations of architects, planners, politicians and activists to practice. (Source: Centre for Living Cities)

Perfectly aligned to Open House Melbourne’s mission, Jacob’s empowered people to participate in the development of their neighbourhoods and cities. What Would Jane Do? will celebrate Jacob’s writing, insight and sheer guts, and use her ideas as a catalyst for conversations about Melbourne’s future.

What Would Jane Do? will launch on Saturday 1 July in partnership with ACMI with an exclusive limited season of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a new major documentary detailing Jacob’s infamous battle with New York City’s ‘master builder’ Robert Moses over his plans to redevelop her home neighbourhood of Greenwich Village and his Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX) project. The Protests against the project, largely organised by Jacobs, culminated in her arrest in 1968 for inciting a crowd and the cancellation of the project.

“With his new documentary, director Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor) brings the inspiring story and profound legacy of Jane Jacobs to a range of new audiences. ACMI are proud to be working with Open House Melbourne to celebrate Jane Jacobs. May her dynamism and progressive ideas serve as a catalyst for a series of conversations about the future of our own city,” said Kristy Matheson, Senior Film Programmer, ACMI.

What Would Jane Do? also includes two talks in partnership with the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas that explore continuing themes in Jacob’s history – citizen activism, citizen-led development, and the complexity of preserving socially significant parts of the city.

What Would Jane Do? Program

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Presented by ACMI and Open House Melbourne

ACMI, Federation Square Melbourne VIC 3000

Opens on Saturday 1 July  

Exclusive Limited Season runs July/August – see ACMI website for more information and tickets


The Battle for our Buildings – BOOKED OUT

Presented by the Wheeler Centre and Open House Melbourne

Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Tuesday 25 July 2017


Visit wheelercentre.com/events/the-battle-for-our-buildings for more information

Self-Made City – BOOKED OUT

Presented by the Wheeler Centre and Open House Melbourne

Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Wednesday 26 July 2017


Visit wheelercentre.com/events/self-made-city for more information

Jane’s Walk

Walks will take place across the Open House Melbourne Weekend

29 and 30 July 2017

Visit openhousemelbourne.org.au for more information

Image credit: Jane Jacobs, Centre for the Living City.

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