JANE JACOBS (1916-2006), urbanist, writer, activist and grassroots organizer, lived for 38 years in the Annex neighbourhood of TORONTO. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania Jane spent more than half of her life in Manhattan, but moved to Canada with her family in 1968. She became a Canadian citizen in 1974, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996.
Among her many achievements: saving a swath of New York City from Robert Moses’ crosstown Lower Manhattan Expressway; writing “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”, her best-known work; fighting to cancel TORONTO’s inner city Spadina Expressway and its parasitic entrails; influencing the development of TORONTO’s St. Lawrence Neighbourhood; opposing the amalgamation of old TORONTO with its inner suburbs; and making herself available for media interviews, conferences, speaking engagements, this, that and the other.
To honour JANE JACOBS, Toronto and many other cities worldwide, annually organize insider neighbourhood tours every spring. Thousands take part, and all are welcome. For the newsletter check the website: http://www.janeswalk.net
Upon her death in 2006, her family’s statement said: “What is important is not that she died, but that she lived, and that her life’s work has greatly influenced the way we think. Please remember her by reading her books and implementing her ideas.”
<PHOTO – Jane Jacobs, Chairman of the Commission to Save the West Village, NYC, 1961>