WHAT IS A JANE'S WALK?
Jane's Walks are free neighborhood walking, biking, paddling, and transit tours that celebrate and investigate the people and places that make a city great. While most Jane's Walks are designed around a theme (architecture, local culture and history, city planning, local cuisine, mobility challenges, nature, etc.), most of all, a Jane's Walk is an opportunity to meet new people and to have a great time.
While most Jane's Walk events around the world take place annually on the first weekend in May to coincide with Jane Jacobs birthday, Milwaukee is taking the entire month of May to celebrate!
Jane's Walk is now a global event. In 2017, Jane's Walks were held in more than 200 cities in more than forty countries, including Cairo, Tokyo, Panama City, Hong Kong, Helsinki, Melbourne, Guadalajara, Dresden, Kolkata, Algiers, and Zagreb.
THE FIRST WALK
By BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada (Jane's Walk - Crossing Dundas) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
After Jane Jacob's death in 2006, a group of her friends came up with the idea of Jane's Walk as a way of honoring her ideas and celebrating her legacy. Jane's Walk was inaugurated on May 5, 2007, in Toronto.
At that first Jane's Walk, twenty-seven local guides stepped up to offer their insider's take on neighborhoods where they live, work, and socialize. Two former mayors offered walks through their old stomping grounds, a blogger retraced the proposed path of the defeated Spadina Expressway (one of the issues Jane Jacobs' took on soon after coming to Toronto), a parks advocate took a group on a walk through the best places in Toronto to cook on an open fire, an urbanist walked his group through the chaos of the club district at night, and so on. Toronto Mayor David Miller declared May 5, 2007, to be Jane Jacobs Day.
Jane's Walk 2007 exceeded all expectations in attendance and media interest. After the successful Toronto event, a second Jane's Walk was organized in New York City in September 2007 in Jane's old stomping ground of Greenwich Village.