The Silent Panel: Celebrating Jane Jacobs Legacy

This was an action for an all male panel last year for the Jane Jacobs conference, on May 24th 2016.  It is common for all genders to over look or under represent the work of women.  Despite what the organizers claimed there are hundreds of  very qualified and dare I say charismatic women who are also experts on Jane Jacobs. All you have to do is remember to look. We selected 20 names representing high profile speakers to local people, those in community work, were academic experts on J.J. or had made a film or written a biography and placed names of these experts on 20 chairs which we put on the podium of the conference to act as a ‘Silent Panel.’  And spread the following text:

” We are proud of the Department of Spatial Planning at the TU Delft for celebrating Jane Jacobs 100th birthday by exploring and honoring her legacy. Everyone involved deserves support and recognition. Yet we would also like to recognize another part of Jane Legacy today by adding chairs to represent the ‘invisible’ panel members. Though Jane Jacobs is a unique mind, so much of who Jane Jacobs was and how she was able to come to her insights and conclusion was also because the way her culture, and society, positioned her as a woman. She was close to street level and close to everyday life of the city. Conversely many of the barriers she faced to winning respect by planning professionals, and professionally as an author and journalist, was because she was a woman. Jane Jacobs was a trail blazer on many fronts and in breaking through gender stereotypes, no less.

Too often when women achieve success in retrospect their sex is forgotten or given another kind of status, but while they struggle to have their work recognized their sex is the first thing people see. It performs more like a screen that hides more than it reveals. How people in our culture perceive women makes their minds and work invisible. Much too often we forget to celebrate and recognize professional women and their achievements simply because of our culturally constructed biases against women. Implicitly and explicitly we exclude qualified women and their ideas from our debates and panels. This is not about being politically correct this about saying let’s get over it, let’s do this for Jane let’s not miss the opportunity to include and hear these invaluable points of view ever again. Let’s stop explicit and implicit exclusion based on sex alone.

List of Names on Chairs
SASKIA SASSEN – Professor of Sociology Columbia University
ADA CALOU – Mayor of Barcelona, Spain
SONIA HIRT – Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Virginia Tech.
Wrote the Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs
SHARON ZUKIN – professor of sociology who specializes in modern urban life. She teaches at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. As of 2014, she was also a distinguished fellow in the Advanced Research Collaborative at the CUNY Graduate Center and chair of the Consumers and Consumption Section of the American Sociological Association. Zukin was a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam in 2010–11. – Known for been a critique of Jane Jacobs and an admirer wrote Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places
Roberta Brandes Gratz Roberta Brandes Gratz is an urban critic, journalist, and consultant based out of New York City. Wrote – The Battle For Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs (2010)
ELINOR OSTROM Political Scientist Nobel Prize winner in Economics Literature (Contemproary of Jane Jacobs)…/three-women-scholars-you-should-know-but-…
ALICE SPARBERG ALEXIOU – Author wrote the first biography of the great urban thinker Jane Jacobs, (Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary, Rutgers University Press, 2006)
JESSICA VAN GARSSE Producer The Jane Jacobs Documentary A film about cities through the lens of Jane Jacobs
Hillary Ballon – Professor of Urban Studies and Architecture –NYU (New York University)
Betty Drake – Senior Fellow, Planning and Design Project for Public Spaces
Anna Vos – Founder Concepts for Urban Change
Mary Rowe, wrote ‘The nature of Cities” Coordinator of the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation…/
Olga Sezneva_ Professor of Political Science and Sociology , European University of St. Petersburg , Assistant
Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA),
Monika Kurath (Center for Research on Architecture, Society & the Built Environment, ETH Zürich)
Rachel Struglia – wrote Alternative Approaches to Urban Planning: Jane Jacobs and Feminist Urban Planners, Instructor at UCLA, Principle at Dudek a private consulting firm specializing in environmental planning and natural resource management.…/alternative-approaches-urban-planning…
Lila Leontidou – Professor of Geography and European Culture at the Hellenic Open University (EAΠ), is currently Vice Dean of the School of Humanities of EAΠ and Director of the GEM (Geograpic Euro-Mediterranean) Research Unit. She has studied Architecture in Athens (NTU – EMP), Geography and Spatial Governance in London (MSc, LSE) and has been awarded a Ph.D from the University of London. – Her expertise is on the Right to the city and movements in civil society that bring about social change
Dr. Claudia Basta is senior Assistant Professor at Wageningen University.
Maria Margarita Segarra Lagunes – Professor of Architecture and Heritage Roma Tre University, Rome , Italy
– Wrote on how to revive the Tiber river in Rome with Jane Jacobs style solutions…
Margery Austin Turner – University of Pittsburgh, Center on Race and social problems, Senior Vice President for Program Planning and Management The Urban Institute wrote – “Public Housing and the Legacy of Segregation’ which heavily utilizes Jane Jacobs work
Lynne C. Manzo, Environmental Psychologist,…/Manzo%20updated%20cv%20’13.pdf



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