The illustrated story of Jane Jacobs

Last week was the 105th birth anniversary of Jane Jacobs, one of the most influential urbanists of the 20th century. Today, I would like to pay tribute to this incredible woman with a short comic strip about how much she changed the way we look at cities.

Jane Jacobs thought that cities were for people, not for cars. She advocated and led a community-based approach to city making, actually paving the way for contemporary placemaking practice. With no formal education in planning or architecture, in a field dominated by men… Jane’s ideas were harshly criticized. But eventually, her works as a writer and activist were recognized and actually inspired generations of urban planners, designers, researchers, politicians and activists worldwide. I hope that you will enjoy discovering her story!

I would like to dedicate this article to French illustrator and author Pénélope Bagieu, who is such a great inspiration to me, and to many others. I want to thank her for her enthusiasm at my own attempt of telling the story of an incredible woman who marked the history of urbanism. 


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Mathilde Riou

Mathilde is an urbanist and facilitator dedicated to change the way we make cities. She created The Urban Mycelium Blog with the aim of revealing the invisible human dynamics that help the city grow better.

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