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.
Wrote the Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs
Monika Kurath (Center for Research on Architecture, Society & the Built Environment, ETH Zürich) http://www.wohnforum.arch.ethz.ch/en/team/monika-kurath
– Wrote on how to revive the Tiber river in Rome with Jane Jacobs style solutions http://architettura.uniroma3.it/…