Google doodle marks 100th birthday of Toronto urbanist Jane Jacobs
A Google doodle paying tribute to Jane Jacobs is pictured on Google's homepage on May 4, 2016, on what would have been her 100th birthday. (Google)
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016 11:23AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 4, 2016 2:26PM EDT
Renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs is being celebrated online on what would have been her 100th birthday.
To mark the occasion, Google has honoured her with a homepage doodle featuring a cartoon of Jacobs amid a cityscape that includes bicycles, sidewalks, parks and a mix of buildings.
“Today's Doodle honors the 100th birthday of this fierce protector of the urban landscape,” Google Canada spokesperson Aaron Brindle said in an email.
The doodle can be viewed in Canada, the U.S. and dozens of other countries around the world.
Twitter Canada also issued a post featuring a black and white photo of Jacobs to mark the milestone and by Wednesday morning, “Jane Jacobs” was a trending topic on the microblogging site..
Born this day in 1916: journalist, author and activist Jane Jacobs pic.twitter.com/U8Obk0Kkdb— Twitter Canada (@TwitterCanada) May 4, 2016
Jacobs moved to Toronto from Manhattan in the 1970s and is credited with bolstering the local movement that stopped the Spadina Expressway, which would have torn through the Annex neighbourhood.
She is perhaps best known for her 1961 work, “the Death and Life of Great American Cities,” in which she argued the importance of diverse, mixed use neighbourhoods in cities and having ‘eyes on the street.’
Jacobs died in 2006 and has become something of a legendary figure in Toronto since then. Her face can regularly be seen plastered on billboards around town and her ideas are frequently cited by urban activists and city planners.
On Wednesday the city’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat took to Twitter to pay tribute to Jacobs in a series of tweets.
“Feeling sentimental today on what would have been Jane Jacob's 100th birthday. We have so much to thank her for. #citiesforpeople #jj100,” Keesmaat wrote.
Keesmaat noted that Toronto City Council is debating a motion today about installing bike lanes on Bloor Street, right through The Annex neighbourhood where Jacobs lived.
Today, on Jane Jacob's 100th birthday, council will begin with a debate on bike lanes on Bloor, right through the heart of her Annex 'hood.— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) May 4, 2016
Brindle, who happens to cycle past Jacobs’ old house in the Annex on his way to work, said her legacy is evident in the city around us.
“Biking through a wonderful, high-density neighborhood within walking distance to great restaurants, small businesses and public transit I've never felt more aware of her legacy and more proud of a Doodle celebrating such an achievement,” he said.
The annual “Jane Walk” series, which connects people with guided tours of interesting neighbourhoods and spaces around the city is named in honour of Jacobs. A number of “Jane Walks” are taking place around town this week. For a full schedule, click here.