Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody. -Jane Jacobs, 1961
As we open 2016, the Municipal Art Society of New York is delighted to announce a historic, global celebration in honor of urban activist and economist Jane Jacobs, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday on May 4 of this year. Best known in New York for defeating a Robert Moses-planned highway that would have run roughshod through Greenwich Village, Jane was a global thinker and activist whose ideas about how urban economies and city neighborhoods thrive are as timeless as they are revolutionary.
Through Celebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100, MAS will promote, connect, and help leverage activities that ignite public enthusiasm for urban life. Whether it’s a walking tour, ebook, lecture series, art show, public performance—or whatever else our partners dream up—MAS is looking for ideas big and small, brand new and established, that can join our sixth month salute to urbanism.
We are also delighted to share with you a major announcement: also this year, MAS will present the Rockefeller Foundation’s first-ever international Jane Jacobs Medal, honoring urban activists who embody Jane’s principles in cities worldwide. The Medal will be presented in Quito, Ecuador, in conjunction with the United Nations’ Habitat III conference on the future of cities. Stay tuned for more information when our nomination process opens this spring.
Today, watch the Jane Jacobs at 100 video, and start thinking: from workshops to walks, performances to talks — what will you do to celebrate?