Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

The new documentary “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” had its premiere in Bergen on May 24 at an event that marked the first collaboration between SpaceLab and Cinemateket in Bergen.

This timely and inspirational documentary chronicles legendary writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs’ battle to save historic NYC neighbourhoods from the draconian redevelopment plans of ruthless power broker Robert Moses in the 1960s.

In her epochal book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, author and activist Jane Jacobs helped change the way we look at urban living. Released on the centenary of her birth, Citizen Jane focuses on Jacobs’ most dramatic battle in the 1960s: when she went up against ruthless NYC power broker Robert Moses to preserve the historic neighbourhoods of Greenwich Village, Soho, and Little Italy against Moses’ plans to divide (and destroy) them with expressways. Exciting and inspirational, Citizen Jane delivers a timely and much-needed lesson in how the power of the people can win out against the self-serving plans of the elite.


After the film, there was a conversation with Fredrik Barth, professor of Urban Development at Asplan Viak, and researcher and geographer Håvard Haarstad from SpaceLab, about how the film and Jane Jacobs’s work is relevant to today’s urban development in Bergen. The conversation was chaired by Gudrun Mathisen from Hordaland County Municipality. Around 60 people showed up to this successful event, and we hope to be able to host similar events in the future.