Friday Feature: Jane’s Walk 2011 Kick-off!

This week officially marked the kick-off of preparations for the 3rd annual Jane’s Walk in Regina! This year’s event will take place on May 7th and 8th. Jane’s Walks are free community walking tours that are given by anyone and taken by anyone. They are a street-level celebration of Jane Jacobs’ legacy that combines the simple act of walking with personal observations, urban history and local personalities as a means of bringing people together for a friendly and informal conversation about what matters to people – in their neighbourhood and their city.

This year also marks an amazing milestone – the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jane Jacobs’ ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’. It’s a classic urbanist text that has influenced generations of urban designers, planners, and organizers. And it’s been continuously in print since 1961! You don’t have to be familiar with Jane Jacobs’ work to lead a Jane’s Walk, but this is a great way to get familiarized with some basic ideas about creating healthy, vibrant cities.

After two years of organizing for Regina, Jane’s Walks continue to delight me. It’s inspiring to see something that started as a small idea grow into the community event that it has. Not only has Jane’s Walk gone truly global with walks in neighbourhoods around the world, but it is also taking it’s place as an integral event within our own city.

In the past two years there have been an amazing variety of walks given in many neighbourhoods throughout the city, by really talented and engaging guides. We’ve heard about the history of Germantown and the waves of immigration from eastern Europe to our city; discussed issues surrounding neighbourhoods in transition and how citizen engagement can go a long way to bring a community together; and we’ve been entertained by personal stories about frat-boy antics and neighbours that keep dragonflies as pets…. no joke! For photos of past walks in Regina, check out our ongoing Jane du Jour photo series!

This year’s Jane’s Walk event proves to be just as fantastic. We’ve already had a few people sign-up to lead walks and I already know it’s going to be a fun year!

We are currently recruiting walk guides, photographers, and volunteers to help out. Jane’s Walk is entirely run by volunteers and the magic happens when everyone comes together to do their small part… we’d love to have you along for the ride.

If you are interested in leading a walk this year or volunteering, please contact me at – I can’t wait!!

p.s. Sunday May 8 is also Mother’s Day. Treat your mom to a fun community conversation or, even better, plan a walk with your mom to share the places in her community that matter to her. I’d love to see a walk for mothers of all ages to get together and share the best spots for taking kids to play! Anyone? Email me!

** Have a great weekend!

Friday Feature: Jane’s Walk 2011 Kick-off!

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