Elsewhere on the Web
- Are there videos or features from the walks?
- Are there recommended online resources, publications, and maps?
Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighborhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with their environment and with each other, by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Since its inception in 2007, Jane’s Walk has been growing internationally, with more than 200 cities around the world participating.
Jane’s Walk honors the legacy and ideas of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs who championed the interests of local residents and pedestrians over a car-centered approach to planning. Jane’s Walk helps knit people together into a strong and resourceful community, instilling belonging and encouraging civic leadership.
All Jane’s Walk tours are given and taken for free. These walks are led by anyone who has an interest in the neighborhoods where they live, work or hang out. They are not always about architecture and heritage, and offer a more personal take on the local culture, the social history and the planning issues faced by the residents. Jane Jacobs believed strongly that local residents understood best how their neighborhood works, and what is needed to strengthen and improve them. Jane’s Walks are meant to be fun, engaged and participatory – everyone’s got a story and they’re usually keen to share it.
Thousands of people have taken part in a Jane’s Walk. Past walks have explored a wide range of urban landscapes, from social housing slated for redevelopment to areas with a rich architectural and cultural heritage, to teen hangouts and secret gardens. Walks are led by individuals and small groups. Some are focused around historical themes more than geographical areas, for instance, some strolls have been built around ideas like the history of the bicycle, gay and lesbian history, places of relevance to the homeless, the history of ‘skid row’, and urgent planning matters facing certain neighborhoods.
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was a writer, urbanist and activist who championed the voices of everyday people in neighborhood planning and city-building.