There is widespread belief that Americans hate cities. I think it is probable that Americans hate city failure, but, from the evidence, we certainly do not hate successful and vital city areas.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Since its inception in 2007 in Toronto Canada, Jane’s Walk has happened in cities across North America, and is growing internationally.
Jane’s Walk was inaugurated on May 5, 2007 in Toronto by a group of Jane’s 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 an insider’s take on the neighborhoods where they work, socialize and live. It expanded to New York City that fall and across Canada in 2008, exceeding all expectations: thousands of enthusiastic participants strolled through 141 neighbourhoods in eleven Canadian cities. In the Toronto Area, there were 69 walking tours, plus six student-led tours developed through the Jane’s Walk School Edition. In 2009, Jane’s Walk expanded again across the continent, adding partner cities such as Salt Lake City, Montreal, Regina, New York, Chicago and New Orleans, and a tour in Mumbai, India. Over 350 walks were offered, in 46 cities involving more than 10,000 walkers. In 2010 Jane’s Walk is due to expand again with new partners already on board in such cities as Dublin, Los Angeles, Saskatoon and Kamloops.
Accolades for Jane’s Walk in Canada!
Jane’s Walk was recognized as a Vital Idea by the Toronto Community Foundation in 2008.
Jane’s Walk was awarded the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation’s ‘Active Transportation Champion’ award in 2008.
Jane Farrow, the Executive Director of Jane’s Walk, was recognized as a Vital Person by the Toronto Community Foundation in 2010.
ABOUT JANE JACOBS: Jacobs was a specialist in the study of cities. A firm believer in the importance of local residents having input on how their neighborhoods develop, Jacobs encouraged people to familiarize themselves with the places where they live, work and play. Her 1961 treatise, 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. Jacobs helped derail the car-centered approach to urban planning in both New York and Toronto, invigorating neighborhood activism by helping stop the expansion of expressways and roads. She lived in Greenwich Village for decades, then moved to Toronto in 1968 where she continued her work and writing on urbanism, economies and social issues until her death in April 2006.
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR THE LIVING CITY: Inspired by the work of Jane Jacobs, the Center for the Living City’s purpose is to enhance our understanding of the complexity of contemporary urban life and through it, promote increased civic engagement of citizens who care deeply for their communities. Through generative portals including symposia, exhibitions, fellowships, workshops, and publications, individuals and organizations can connect with others addressing the interrelated issues of economies, ecologies, society and city building.
Center for the Living City’s website
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH’S COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE+PLANNING:
The College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah facilitates an educational community of students, faculty, and staff with interests and expertise in creative design, building, planning, computer technology, issues of social and ecological responsibility, and the scholarly study of the history and theory of the built landscape. We educate future professionals who are concerned with constructing and maintaining the highest quality in our built and natural environments.