The 'Jane's Walk' Tradition Continues

In honor of the pioneering urbanist, who would have been 101 years old this week, citizens are organizing "Jane's Walks" in cities across the globe.
May 2, 2017, 6am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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David Crummey

This week, it's been 101 years since Jane Jacobs was born. As they have for a decade, Jacobs aficionados are celebrating the urbanist icon by organizing and participating in "Jane's Walks."

Renée Loth writes, "In the 10 years since they began, in Toronto, these free, citizen-run walks have been organized from Calgary to Calcutta — a global festival of architecture, open space, civic engagement, and local history."

"In this centennial year, Jacobs is getting a lot of attention: new biographies and reconsiderations of her influence abound. 'Citizen Jane,' a documentary coproduced by Robert Hammond, a creator of New York’s wildly popular High Line, opens this week."

Loth does mention that "the Jacobs legacy of 'citizen planners' is not without its faults. It can lead to NIMBYism, blind faith in populist amateurs, and blanket disdain for institutions. But if it weren't for Jacobs and the neighborhood preservation movements she inspired, the walkers of Roslindale [in Boston] would probably be navigating the Southwest Expressway, not looking for ways to connect to the Southwest Corridor Park."

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Published on Monday, May 1, 2017 in The Boston Globe
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