Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist who championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building.  Jacobs saw cities as ecosystems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used.   Her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, introduced ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail that now seem like common sense to generations of architects, planners, politicians and activists.

Jane’s Walk was created in 2007 in Toronto by friends of Jane, and the annual series of free, volunteer-led urban walks has grown from 27 to over 500 walks, from Calgary to Canberra and Sao Paulo to Saskatoon.

While in the last few years a number of walks have been offered in Edmonton, this year for the first time Jane’s Walk in Edmonton is being coordinated by a local organizing committee made up of volunteers and staff from the City of Edmonton’s Walkable Edmonton and the Old Strathcona Foundation.  We are very grateful to the volunteers who have stepped up to lead a walk and share their knowledge of our interesting communities.

We are kicking off the Jane’s Walk weekend at City Hall on Friday, May 4, with three very distinctive Edmonton walks over the lunch hour led by local experts –

  • the Heritage Buildings Walk, led by David Holdsworth, Heritage Planner
  • the Quarters Walk, led by Kathryn Ivany – City Archivist
  • Derive Downtown, led by Kristy Trinier – Public Art Coordinator

There will also be a number of other walks all around town over the weekend and on Monday evening, so take in as many as you can!

See all the Edmonton Walks at:  http://janeswalk.net/cities/list/category/edmonton

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About the Author
Ian Hosler
Ian Hosler is the program coordinator of the City's Walkable Edmonton Initiative which is part of the Office of Great Neighborhoods.
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