FROM THE EDITOR
A Publication of the State Bar of Arizona
LISA BORMASTER FON TES
MIK YEILA CORDERO
DAVID H. BEN TON, CHAIR
YUSRA B. BOKHARI
HON. THEODORE CAMPAGNOLO
PAUL F. DOWDELL
GREGOR Y GAU TAM
HON. RANDALL M. HOWE
COLLEEN M. JOHNSON
KARA L. KLIMA
JOSE V. LUJAN
TERRIE S. RENDLER
K YLE SHELTON
MICHAEL F. VALENZUELA
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100
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Tucson, AZ 85701-1113
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VOLUME 54, NO. 1
What makes a place a place worth remembering? What
transforms brick and mortar into communities and neighborhoods?
If you’re active in your community,
you probably find yourself considering
those issues often. That’s because an
accumulation of raw materials may yield
vibrancy in one place and despondency in
another. What’s the difference? What is
the special sauce?
Back in June, those questions were
raised during the screening of a compelling documentary about modern urban
spaces. In a lot of ways, the film showed
that communities may thrive or die in the
legal issues and conclusions that underlie
the ground we walk on.
Jane Jacobs was a remarkable advo-
cate for living, sustainable and diverse spaces. The film that represents
her battles with the City of New York—a film I recommend—is titled
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer, the docu-
mentary was screened by Steve Weiss and his own remarkable company
called No Festival Required. What attracted them to Jane may attract
you, as well. (Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwf5h3MIdRs)
Jacobs lived happily for many years in New York’s Greenwich Village.
But she resided there during the ascendancy of city planner Robert
Moses—whose vision focused mightily on the power of the automobile
to be the centerpiece of every community’s space. Those who saw things
differently—especially residents—were viewed by Moses as inconsequen-
tial impediments to progress. His blueprints were routinely followed by
massive demolition of homes and
creation of freeways. He was used
to getting his way—to winning.
Until he came up against Jacobs
and her fellow advocates.
The film explores the clash
of worldviews—monolithic and
efficient vs. diverse and surprising.
In every city around the world, the
clash continues. But when most
of us consider our favorite places
to visit, I suspect we mainly come
down on one side rather than the
Among the film’s many revelations was this: Jacobs and
the effective activists she worked with had a deep and detailed
understanding that law—code, regulations and more—was at
the bottom of every solution—and every problem. The person
who seeks to advance a position without that understanding is
unlikely to be successful.
In one of her biggest battles, Jacobs was successful. The
Lower Manhattan Expressway—a 10-lane superhighway connecting Long Island to New Jersey—was never built. And so as
you pleasantly stroll through the Village—and Little Italy and
Chinatown and Washington Square—thank a preservationist
who knew the law and how to use it.
At the event, I had the pleasure to moderate a panel discussion of very smart folks. Thanks to Phoenix Councilwoman Kate
Gallego and architects Christina Noble and Will Bruder, for
their dialogue and their hard work building a city.
Law of the neighborhood
Jane Jacobs, 1961
(by Phil Stanziola, New
Library or Congress,