A Global Movement
Jane’s Walks are free, locally-led walking tours inspired by legendary urban activist Jane Jacobs, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation. Walks can focus on almost any aspect of a neighbourhood, and on almost any topic you can think of. Walks can be serious or funny, informative or exploratory; they can look at the history of a place, or at what’s happening there right now. Anyone can lead a walk–because everyone is an expert on the place where they live! To learn more about the global movement of Jane's walks, visit the Jane's Walk International website.
Jane's Walk Calgary
Jane's Walk Calgary has been an initiative of the Calgary Foundation since 2008 in partnership with Jane's Walk international. In our first nine years, over 250 volunteer walk leaders have led over 200 distinct walks in 88 neighbourhoods across Calgary and nearby. 2016 saw 2,139 walkers at 68 different free tours around Calgary on topics as diverse as the human health benefits of walking our dogs, how new suburbs can build their sense of identity, the main street urban design framework and the murals of Chinatown.
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. She saw cities as ecosystems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used. With a keen eye for detail, she wrote eloquently about sidewalks, parks, retail design and self-organization. At the core of her work and thinking was the need to get out and walk your city and observe how people, through their actions and interactions, create communities with a strong sense of belonging.