Between May 1st and May 3rd, a total of 28 different Jane’s Walks are planned in the Metro Vancouver area. The main Jane’s Walk website has a list and full description of all of the walks. All are free.
“Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours.” (Jane’s Walk website)
Famed urbanist Jane Jacobs once wrote, “No one can find what will work for our cities by looking at … suburban garden cities, manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities. You’ve got to get out and walk.” (Downtown is for People, 1957). She is perhaps best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961.
We’ve collected a few of the walks and descriptions around the region to provide an overview of the range of themes that will be covered.
1. Sat May 2 (10 am) and Sun May 3 (10 am)
An affordable alternative to the Broadway Subway
Description: This route could accommodate a ground level Light Rail Transit system at a lower cost and a more rapid construction program than a Broadway Subway. This bike tour is 7 kilometers long, and will cover the eastern half of the route.Along the way, we will stop at important places and discuss the pros and cons of this alternative concept.
Walk Leader: Adam Fitch
Starting location: VCC Clark Skytrain Station
Note: Bicycles only
2. Sat May 2 (1 pm) and Sun May 3 (10 am)
Transiting Port Mann: Failed Mega-City of the Fraser 1910-2015 (& Special Events!)
Description: The story of Port Mann City is little known, yet remains a vital, living community to this day. This Jane’s walk will engage participants in exploring Port Mann from its ancient geology, to First Nations habitation through the ongoing feverish drama of the colonial and modern day pursuit of speculative real estate profits, patterns of high density development and intensifying urban growth. (Surrey’s new bike path opening and cycling bridge ribbon-cutting precedes the Saturday walk.)
Walk Leader: William Gibbens (http://www.influency.com)
Starting location: 109 Ave and 144 St at Port Mann’s Invergarry Public Park on the new Bon Accord Creek Cycling Bridge.
Architectural Heritage and Human Scale Urbanism in Mount Pleasant
Description: Join us for a trip down memory lane & learn about the urban design principles that shaped historical Mount Pleasant, Vancouver’s original suburb.
Walk Leader: Lewis Villegas
Starting location: 101 East 7th Avenue
Note: Ned Jacobs is planning to attend the walk (Ned is one of Jane Jacobs’ sons).
4. Saturday May 2 (3:30 pm)
Renters’ Union Guide to Mount Pleasant
Description: This walk will focus on Vancouver’s long history of working class housing activism. In recent years, Mount Pleasant has become a hotspot for gentrification and evictions, but it has also emerged as a place of renter organizing and community resilience.
Walk leaders: Nathan Crompton & Jannie Leung
Starting location: Mount Pleasant Community Centre
5. Sunday May 3 (4 pm)
An Archaeological Tour of the Habitat Forum 1976 site at Jericho Beach
Description: This tour unearths the history of Habitat Forum, a major public event at Jericho Beach that was part of the UN Habitat Conference on Human Settlements held in Vancouver in 1976. This was the largest UN conference that had ever been held, and it was the founding conference of UN Habitat.
Walk Leader: Lindsay Brown
Starting location: Jericho Sailing Centre
The Vancouver Declaration (Housing as a Basic Right)
See more walk here
and worldwide, here
From the official Jane’s Walk website:
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
— Jane Jacobs, ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’
Jane’s Walk celebrates the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs by getting people out exploring their neighbourhoods and meeting their neighbours. Free walking tours held on the first weekend of May each year are led by locals who want to create a space for residents to talk about what matters to them in the places they live and work. Since its inception in Toronto in 2007, Jane’s Walk has expanded rapidly to hundreds of walks in many cities and countries around the world.
50 Years Later Jane Jacobs still influences City Planning (CityHallWatch, 31-Dec-2011)
Ned Jacobs reflects on Geoff Olson opinion piece: Jane Jacobs’ vision lost among Vancouver’s high towers (CityHallWatch, 24-Oct-2014)