There are plenty of activities going on this weekend in the valley celebrating urbanism and an exploration on improving our city experience to be better connected, walkable, and sustainable.
Jane’s Walk is an annual celebration of people and cities held around the world on the first weekend of May. Created in 2007 in Toronto by friends of the urban thinker Jane Jacobs, the annual series of free, volunteer-led urban walks has grown from 27 to over 500 walks, from Calgary to Canberra and Sao Paulo to Saskatoon. Through the simple act of walking together and discussing what makes a neighborhood, Jane’s Walk helps knit people together into strong and resourceful communities.
Who is Jane Jacobs? She was an American-Canadian writer and activist with primary interest in communities and urban planning and decay. She is best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a powerful critique of the urban renewal policies of the 1950s in the United States. The book has been credited with reaching beyond planning issues to influence the spirit of the times. Along with her well-known printed works, Jacobs is equally well known for organizing grassroots efforts to block urban-renewal projects that would have destroyed local neighborhoods. She was instrumental in the eventual cancellation of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, and after moving to Canada in 1968, equally influential in canceling the Spadina Expressway and the associated network of highways under construction.
Mesa: Meet-up and Happy Hour
Start your Jane Jacobs Walk weekend with this get together. Come join us to bring together others passionate about downtown Mesa, bring a friend and join in the discussion of what walkability and urban form can bring to Mesa’s downtown.
METRO Light Rail Streetcar Tours
Hosted by METRO, this event offers two possible tours, one of Central Mesa, and one of Tempe. Both tours will start at the Sycamore/Main Street transit center. After the tour, participants can either continue their own exploration using light rail or return to the Sycamore/Main Street transit center via light rail or bus. Both streetcar tours are outlined below.
Jane’s Crawl in Downtown Phoenix (pub crawl)
Starting in the Central Business District (CBD), we’ll walk through good, bad, and debatable pedestrian infrastructure while we also explore how a few different bars interface with the street and utilize their spaces in creative ways. This Jane’s Walk will be more of a crawl because we’ll spend enough time at each bar to grab a drink and have discussions.
Jane’s Walk Sunnyslope
We will start at Sunnyslope Historical Society, pass the Sunnyslope Community Center, Sunnyslope Rock Garden and Norton Park. Immediately following the walk, participants are welcome to meet up for breakfast and conversation at Scramble, 9832 N. 7th St., where walkers will get 15% off their bill.
Join us as we talk about walkability and transit oriented development in Mesa! We will walk both north and south of Main into the neighborhoods to make a “walking audit” of the resources we have around our station areas. Bring your brain power and a mind open to the possibilities of Mesa! When we return at the end of the walk, we will discuss, draw and write our ideas down.
Be sure to visit Jane Jacobs Walk Phoenix for more details on times and reservations.
Information courtesy of JaneJacobsWalk.org