If you’re a true urbanist at heart, then chances are you are aware of the work of Jane Jacobs. In order to honor her life and her work, cities around the world have been organizing walks intended to promote people exploring urban neighborhoods (much the way the Buffalo Garden Walk does). Last year, 843 Jane’s Walks were held in 109 cities around the world, and this year, on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, Buffalo will also be included in the celebratory event.
It is the hope of grassroots organizers that initiative continues to go viral, since the premise is fairly simple. Jane’s Walk tours can be led by anyone who is familiar enough with an urban neighborhood to lead people on a tour. It is suggested that tour guides focus on particular themes and topics, such as revitalization, immigrant communities, public art, architecture, history, food access, green spaces, the challenges of being a newcomer, the impact of political decisions on neighborhoods, and community development (non-commercial, non-partisan, and focused on the neighborhood where people are walking).
The walks are intended to keep Jane Jacob’s ideologies and practices alive in cities everywhere. Creating more walkable urban cores, and less sprawl was one of the key focuses of Jacobs. What could be better to highlight and honor those practices than to get out and create urban walking tours?
The Toronto-based Jane’s Walk initiative can be found online here. We will keep you posted as tours are organized.