Elected Officials

Start Up Jane’s Walks

Jane Jacobs Walk is a series of neighborhood walking tours (and/or bike rides, transit rides, or wheelchair rides) that helps community members learn and respond to the complexities of their city through personal and shared observation. All tours are given and taken for free and coordinated through the Center for the Living City, a nonprofit organization created by supporters of Jane Jacobs. The event takes place annually on the first weekend of May.

Guidance
  • Reach out to a broad base of potential walkers, including neighborhood associations, business improvement districts, community groups, youth organizations, and school associations for tour themes and to recruit tour-takers
  • Schedule your tour for the first weekend in May to build on the legacy of Jane Jacobs and highlight walking advocacy
  • Make sure locations and routes are accessible
  • Go on a trial run of your tour before the event to time the route and ensure locations haven’t been blocked by unforeseen circumstances
  • Read up on Jane Jacob’s theories and highlight them during the tour
  • Create a listserve, website, Facebook page, or some way to update participants about tour themes, locations, and logistical details
  • Encourage participants to ask questions and offer insights. The tours work best as a collective conversation about everyone’s shared surroundings
  • Share the experience afterward: Upload pictures to your website, Facebook page, or shared online photo account. Write blog posts or send out a follow-up email about the event
Benefits
  • Provokes community discussions about streetscapes and street life
  • Creates new social-walking opportunities
  • Encourages walking and cycling
  • Helps build community
  • Offers community members a new perspective of city streets
Considerations
  • Develop relationships with community members to clarify the program and its goals, and to encourage participation
Where to Use It
  • Locations with collective histories and connections to tour members, such as residential neighborhoods, downtowns, or parks
  • Rapidly changing neighborhoods, waterfronts, or manufacturing districts that are home to multiple histories and cultures
  • Bicycle trails and mixed-use trails through recreational areas
Professional Consensus
  • The Department of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah hosts the Center for the Living City and the Jane Jacob Walk program
Examples

Jane Jacobs Walks took place in more than 30 U.S. cities, including:

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.