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Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016)

1:49 | Trailer
Writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs fights to save historic New York City during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s.


Matt Tyrnauer
3 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Thomas Campanella Thomas Campanella ... Self
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Robert Moses (voice)
Mindy Fullilove Mindy Fullilove ... Self
Alexander Garvin Alexander Garvin ... Self
Paul Goldberger Paul Goldberger ... Self
Steven Johnson Steven Johnson ... Self
Geeta Mehta Geeta Mehta ... Self - Architect
Max Page Max Page ... Self
Mary Rowe Mary Rowe ... Self
Michael Sorkin Michael Sorkin ... Self
Marisa Tomei ... Jane Jacobs (voice)


The battle in how the urban form of New York City in particular was shaped in the mid-twentieth century is presented, the two leading figures on the opposing sides of the battle being Robert Moses, who held many senior positions related to development of urban infrastructure, and Manhattan resident and journalist Jane Jacobs, author of "The Death and Life of Great American Cities". In this battle, Moses disregarded Jacobs as a "mere housewife" and a nuisance of one at that. As was the prevailing trend of the time, Moses was in the camp of demolishing what he saw as not working to build homogeneous neighborhoods in style and function - most buildings several stories high or taller in the need to accommodate a growing population - that were largely supported by urban freeways or expressways to move people from the burgeoning affluent suburbs to jobs in the urban center. Many of the urban housing developments were social housing for those who could not afford to live in the suburbs, and ... Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

city | See All (1) »


Fifty years ago, one women fought for the people of New York City. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Robert Moses: Today, our greatest single problem is tenant removal.
See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

User Reviews

Great documentary on urban preservation vs. renewal
26 June 2017 | by xWRLSee all my reviews

Jane Jacobs and the successful battle to oppose Robert Moses' planned lower Manhattan expressway in the 1960s is the focus of this doc, but the film also raises general questions about the overreach of city planners who are too quick to tear buildings down and not very wise about the new buildings and highways that go in their place.

It's a huge topic, so it was wise to focus here on Manhattan, where enough forms of political greed and poor planning took place to document the folly that went into projects that were completed, like the Cross-Bronx Expressway, along with some that weren't, like the prospect of bringing urban renewal to the West Village.

Lots of footage Moses, Jacobs, and the wrecking ball and we'll put together from beginning to end.

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Release Date:

21 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,451, 23 April 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Altimeter Films See more »
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Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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