What Is Janes Walk?
Jane’s Walk is an annual festival of free, citizen-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks take place in hundreds of cities around the word and help put people in touch with their environment and with each other, bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Jane’s Walks encourage people to share stories about their neighbourhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and use walking as a way to connect with their neighbours.
A simple idea that works everywhere
Each Jane’s Walk is created and designed by citizen volunteers, and can take many forms. Some tours look at urbanism and the built environment while others wind their way through parks and ravines, introduce walkers to vibrant street life, or focus on a neighbourhood’s social history and hidden stories. Jane’s Walks can be anything from the personal (“Every apartment I've lived in”) to the historical (“History of cinema - tents to black boxes ”) or may be focused on local issues and urban planning (“Modernist architecture in the downtown”, "Tackling homelessness") or providing a new experience of the city ("Quiet night walk for reflection"). It just needs to combine walking, observing and talking.
Building bridges across traditional barriers
Jane’s Walks are more than just informative tours of different city neighbourhoods. They also give residents a chance to encounter places and people who may be part of the same city, but rarely cross their paths. Jane’s Walk invites city-dwellers to get out of their cars and get connected, to strike up a conversation, and keep it going after the walk over a coffee or a beer. Walkers and guides say that Jane’s Walk has been a great opportunity to build social bridges over the geographic, economic and cultural barriers that so often divide our modern cities and towns. By learning about each other’s lives through sharing our varied experiences and environments, we can help foster understanding, citizenship and a sense of belonging, and begin to knit people from diverse backgrounds into a strong and resourceful community.