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May 1st, 2013, 5:07 pm
Since its inception in 2007 the annual international phenomenon – Jane’s Walk – has created an opportunity for people to actively engage in city planning. Over the course of one weekend– this year on May 4th and 5th– people in urban areas around the world will lead over 600 walking tours in their own communities to highlight what works about where they live, and what doesn’t. New York City is host to over 100 Jane’s Walks and (and one bike ride!) in all five boroughs.
Jane’s Walk honors the legacy and ideas of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs who championed the interests of local residents at a time when scale models and grand visions of the future removed designers from the experience of the city by foot.
With a growing number of communities participating in this year’s walk—90 cities and counting—it is beyond doubt that people care deeply about their own communities and want to be involved as stewards of their transformation. Imagine over 25,000 artists, foodies, writers, activists, history buffs and people from all walks of life, taking to the streets in 19 countries to engage in frank discussion about everything from the cracks in the sidewalks to watershed management, from housing issues for immigrants to LGBT rights. The experience is both a celebration and a critique: an opportunity to speak openly with those willing to listen about real priorities in civic development, and a moment for grassroots urbanism that is filled with genuine, personal accounts of how public space is actually used.
Anyone can attend a Jane’s Walk, as all the tours are free of charge and open to every side of an issue. For a complete list of New York City’s 100+ free Jane’s Walks go to: www.mas.org/janeswalk.
Be part of the action this weekend! Tweet: @masnyc and #janeswalknyc.
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