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Current Work


Our purpose is to enhance the understanding of the complexity of contemporary urban life and through it, promote increased civic engagement among people who care deeply for their communities.

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Current Work


Our purpose is to enhance the understanding of the complexity of contemporary urban life and through it, promote increased civic engagement among people who care deeply for their communities.

About

Find out about our organization, mission, our methods, and the results of our advocacy toward just communities.

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Center Programs

We work to advance the observations of Jane Jacobs. See what the Center is up to and how you can become involved.

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The Center’s programming includes publishing What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs and Urban Acupuncture and sponsoring Jane Jacobs Walk, self-organized walking tours throughout the world. The Center for the Living City also sponsors symposia, exhibitions, fellowships, workshops and other community events.

Banner photo courtesy of Big Car Collaborative, Indianapolis, May 4 2013 Southside Stroll

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Jane Jacobs Walk


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Jane Jacobs Walk


 
 

Jane Jacobs Walk is a program of the Center for the Living City. We celebrate her life and legacy by inviting people to organize walks in their communities throughout the year.

Jane Jacobs Walk in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo Credit: Camila Selva Cabral

Jacobs was a community organizer who helped save her neighborhoods from destruction by the hands outside interests.  She invited everyone to see how cities actually work through experience, to go out and see what makes a neighborhood thrive, or to see what makes a neighborhood struggle.  And she opposed those who insisted on the same solutions to fix the unique challenges in cities.

We honor Jane Jacobs by helping people leave the isolation of their homes to come together to experience areas of their city outside of the automobile.  The purpose of Jane Jacobs Walk is to engage people in walking, observing, and connecting with their communities. We invite people to make a difference because a Jane Jacobs Walk enables members of a community to discover and respond to the complexities of their city  and environment through personal and shared observation.

 

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YouthCity Speak


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YouthCity Speak


YouthCity Speak

Background: Kidspeak is an environment-based curriculum project that gives children a voice in the future of their community. Our curriculum development modules teach students how to identify community problems important to them and provide tools and resources for them to take action. As a result of just one of these projects, elementary school students in Salt Lake City were inspired to tackle toxic waste in their neighborhood.  The students’ efforts led the EPA to remediate the toxic brownfield, declared it a Superfund site, and awarded the children for their efforts during a ceremony in Washington, DC.

YouthCity Speak builds upon this success by developing new urban environmental education modules for YouthCity programs nationwide. Like Kidspeak, the program is designed to raise youth’s awareness, and increase their understanding of the social and environmental problems in their community that inspire action. 

The modules teach youth how to become empowered and meaningfully engaged in their community. They are designed to guide youth through projects that address social and environmental justice issues and teach them how to find their own solutions to those problems. 

Exploring our Connections to Nature

7 + hours of lessons

In this module, students will explore how their lives are linked to everything in their communities and ecosystems at varying scales. Through personal and group exploration, students will begin to understand our role in our ecosystem and how the decisions we make directly affect all living things.

Understanding sustainability and our role in our ecosystem is crucial to the overall health of our environment and the way it functions. Through this module, students will begin to understand systems thinking and will be able to see many more of their connections to the community and the environment. Students will learn to appreciate the many things we use in our daily lives. They will become aware of our dependence on things in nature and that what we do to our resources in nature, we are ultimately doing to ourselves.     

Your Home • Your Community • Your Impact

7.5 (+) hours of lessons

In this module, students will learn to look at their communities in new ways. This module is designed to encourage youth to critically assess the way their communities function, look, and feel. It will help youth make a positive impact in their community, neighborhood, or school and thereby give them a sense of ownership and pride in the future of their community.

The module is designed to present issues that will impact the future quality of life in the student’s neighborhood, community, city, and/or state. The issues identified by the students will be focused within their own community, but will enhance their understanding of how local problems have implications for the nation and even the world. The process engages students in thinking critically as they identify issues and develop strategies to address those issues.

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Jacobs Fellowship Program


...created for individuals to engage in city-building processes of critical importance in maintaining or regaining the strength and resilience of cities.

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Jacobs Fellowship Program


...created for individuals to engage in city-building processes of critical importance in maintaining or regaining the strength and resilience of cities.

The Center for the Living City established the Jacobs Fellowship Program in 2006, in honor of Jane Jacobs. This inaugural fellowship was funded through a generous grant from Deutsche Bank. These fellowships are created for individuals to engage in city-building processes of critical importance in maintaining or regaining the strength and resilience of cities. Fellowships occur across disciplines and address the complex, interconnected problems facing cities throughout the world.  

 

Fellowship Recipients

Ben GauslinJacobs Fellow 2006, City as an organic, urban artifactMr. Gauslin devoted one full year working with housing authorities in New Orleans on affordable housing and neighborhood development efforts in low-income neighborhoods. A graduate of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Mr. Gauslin worked alongside housing authorities on building and site inspections, developing preliminary designs and budgets for housing and commercial revitalization projects and the development of a pattern book for housing rehabilitation in the New Orleans East neighborhoods.

 

 

 

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Center Exhibitions


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Center Exhibitions


Learning from Disaster: New Orleans After Katrina

Three months after Hurricane Katrina undermined the lives and places of people in New Orleans, the Center for the Living City organized a team of students from Purchase College to go to New Orleans and learn from the disaster.  While in New Orleans, students participated in stripping homes and preparing them for reconstruction. Using the power of observation informed through the work of Jane Jacobs, volunteers from the Center led students in a process where exploration, information and knowledge gained led to an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York titled, Learning from Disaster: New Orleans After Katrina. An important component of this exhibition was comparing and contrasting the experience of students whose lives were changed by the World Trade Center disaster.

About Learning From Disaster