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In 1960 urban planner Jane Jacobs took on the “urban planning establishment” with her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which explored the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfiguration of cities.

The new award-winning documentary film Citizen Jane: Battle for the City chronicles her fights with developers who threatened to demolish NYC’s most historic neighborhoods and delivers a lesson in the power of the average person to push back.

Here’s the film synopsis:

Citizen Jane is a timely tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power for the sake of a better world. Arguably no one did more to shape our understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects. Director Matt Tyranuer (Valentino: The Last Emperor) 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.

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