Jane Jacobs Walk is a series of free neighborhood walking, biking, and transit tours that help put people in touch with their environment and with the people who live in their community.
Our mission is to help people walk, observe, and connect with their community and environment. Walks inspire people to make a difference because they enable members of a community to discover and respond to the complexities of their city and environment through personal and shared observation.
Jane Jacobs Walk Principles:
All Jane Jacobs Walk events are given and taken for free.
- The walks are led by anyone who has an interest in a neighborhood where they live, work or hang out.
- They offer a personal take on the local culture, the social history and the planning issues faced by residents. They are not always about architecture.
- Jane Jacobs Walks work best as walking conversations, with lots of personal observations and examples. Jane Jacobs believed strongly that local residents understood best how their neighborhood works and what is needed to strengthen and improve them.
- When it comes to making improvements to the livability and vibrancy of neighborhoods, people are often isolated or unaware of others who may share their interests. Jane Jacobs Walks help to bridge these gaps by encouraging people to explore the sidewalks they use to go shopping, getting to school and work and many other tasks in our daily lives.
- A Jane Jacobs Walk encourages an environment where people choose alternatives to the automobile for their transportation, not merely as a recreational option, but as a viable and enjoyable way to improve health and increase social cohesion.
Advancing the observations of Jane Jacobs takes many forms, and one of the best routes for doing this is to get out and walk. When our Canadian colleagues and board members inaugurated the Jane's Walk program, we jumped on board with them as Jane's Walk USA. With limited funds but unlimited energy, undergraduate students in the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah assembled ways to bring this "gift to the world" to as many interested people in the United States as possible.
The first event was conducted on May 5, 2007 in Toronto by a group of Jacobs' friends and colleagues who wanted to honor her ideas and legacy. Mayor David Miller declared it Jane Jacobs Day and twenty-seven local guides offered walks in neighborhoods where they worked, socialized and lived.
Over the years the program has expanded throughout the world, and together with our Canadian colleagues we have worked to bring the power of observation to communities as different as Anchorage, Alaska and Mumbai, India. Our program continues to gain momentum and now reaches people worldwide through year-round global Jane Jacobs Walks (formerly Jane's Walk USA). Under the leadership of the Center for the Living City and Stephen Goldsmith, Graduate and Undergraduate City & Metropolitan Planning students comprise an enthusiastic and hard working Jane Jacobs Walk team. Each year our Jane Jacobs Walk program is taking steps to bring the insights, community connections and power of observation to a diversity of neighborhoods in cities throughout the world.