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City of Charleston News Flash

Posted on: April 25, 2018

City of Charleston Design Division Hosts “Weekend of Jane Jacobs”

The City of Charleston Design Division is holding a series of free, public events May 3rd through May 6th to celebrate the work and life of author Jane Jacobs.

Events will include an outdoor educational screening of the documentary, “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City,” a one-day book club over coffee and donuts and two nationally-registered “Janes Walks” through two downtown neighborhoods.

As described by the Project for Public Spaces, Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was “an urban writer and activist who championed community-based approaches to planning for over 40 years. Her 1961 treatise, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, became one of the most influential American texts about the inner workings and failings of cities, inspiring generations of urban planners and activists. Her efforts to stop downtown expressways and protect local neighborhoods invigorated community-based urban activism and helped end Parks Commissioner Robert Moses's reign of power in New York City.”

“We are using this celebration of Jane Jacobs as a way to engage the community in a dialogue on urban design issues in the city,” said Design Division director, Allen Davis. “Charleston serves as the perfect setting for these events because many of our planning principles are informed by Jane Jacobs’ writing, such as the importance of the public realm in civic life, small blocks, the use of sidewalks for public safety, preserving the human scale of our neighborhoods, fostering mixed-use places and putting ‘eyes on the street’ with properly designed buildings.”

Event details:

THURSDAY, MAY 3rd, 6pm-9pm

“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” - FILM screening

An outdoor educational screening of the new documentary film by Matt Tyrnauer at the Charleston Civic Design Center’s back yard (part of the Gaillard Center complex at 85 Calhoun Street). There will be popcorn and other light refreshments. Bring chairs and blankets. (Rainy day venue TBD.)

This event is hosted by the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston’s Master of Resilient Urban Design program and the South Carolina chapter of the Urban Land Institute.

Friday, MAY 4th, 9am-11am

Death and Life of Great American Cities roundtable discussion / Book Club

This is a one-time book club on Jane Jacob’s birthday. The discussion will be moderated by two local government planners, Katie McKain of the City of Charleston Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability and Eric Pohlman, with the Town of Mount Pleasant.

Here’s how it works:

Saturday, MAY 5th, 10am-12pm

“Civic Charleston Walk” – Jane Jacobs Walk

The city of Charleston’s Jane Jacobs Walks are nationally registered with the Center for the Living City:

The Saturday walk will begin and end at the Charleston Civic Design Center (85 Calhoun Street) and will focus on the beauty and walkability of Charleston. The city's unique neighborhoods will be celebrated and its civic projects will be examined. The walk will be led by Dr. Nathaniel Walker, professor of urban studies at the College of Charleston.

This event is sponsored by the College of Charleston’s new Community Planning, Policy and Design master’s degree program and the Charleston Preservation Society.

SUNDAY, MAY 6th, 3Pm-5pm

“EASTSIDE Charleston Walk” – Jane Jacobs Walk

The city of Charleston’s Jane Jacobs Walks are nationally registered with the Center for the Living City:

The walk will begin at the Saint Julian Devine Community Center (1 Cooper Street) and end at the Eastside Community Development Corporation on America Street. It will focus on the unique character and walkability of Charleston's Eastside neighborhood. The effects of urban highways will be examined and emerging civic projects will be discussed. City staff and neighborhood leaders will be involved in this walking conversation.

The Sunday walk is in partnership Enough Pie and Charleston Moves, as part of their month-long Awakening: MOTION community arts program.

More information about the events can be found on the Design Division website:

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