Alison Garwood Jones

Be An Agitator

July 20, 2022

Jane Jacobs Illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

Jane Jacobs’ persistence moved mountains. She was dismissed in multiple ways:

  • For not being an academic
  • Of being “a troublemaker”
  • Of being a “liberal agitator”
  • For being a woman
  • And finally, when nothing else worked, for being “wanton.” Yes, even Jane was accused of being an office slut by her managing editor at Iron Age magazine. Some dude named, T.W. Lippert.

“Ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things,” was how Jane responded, in between puffs on her pipe. Jane raised three kids with her beloved husband, Robert, and spent the rest of her energy challenging received wisdom about how (and for whom) cities should work.

May her example fire you up to take on our current roster of challenges.

Book Reco: Robert Kanigel’s amazing biography, Eyes on The Street:The Life of Jane Jacobs (Vintage, 2016)


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