The Marginalization of Jane Jacobs and Women Planners

Roberta Brandes Gratz writes that "When we talk about strategies for city growth and economic development, women aren't often offered seats at the table." Jacobs was the exception, and represented a challenge to male-dominated planning.

Gratz had multiple conversations with Jacobs while conducting research for her book The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Gratz says she often talked about the difference between men and women's thinking about planning:

"Pondering why men and women's voices were heard differently on the subject of city building, she noted matter-of-factly that women think about things close to home-street, neighborhood and community. They more easily recognize the big difference small things can make. Men think big, national and global. They are top-down oriented."

Gratz says that Jacobs "...didn't for one moment think that what she had to say was heard with the same impact as it would have been if her words were spoken by men."

Full Story: Jane Jacobs and the Power of Women Planners

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