Once in a while, I run across something and say to myself "I wish I had written that!" This time, it's a book on Jane Jacobs, this one for children and adults alike. It's called Walking the City With Jane, by Susan Hughes and Valerie Boivin. Jane is introduced as an intelligent, independent girl who learns by looking closely at the world around her, and who grows up to become observe and analyze the nature of cities and how people use them. Jane's outspokenness sometimes gets her into trouble as a girl, but it is an essential part of her effectiveness as an activist later in life. The book makes a terrific resource for studying civic engagement, urban life, and the role of city planning, as well as revealing much about the history of New York and Toronto along the way.
Learn more about this book at the publisher's website, here.
I found an article on Henry Mintzberg's blog that has a connection to Jane's Walk. In case you don't know, Henry Mintzberg is a Professor of Management at McGill University. The article discusses 'communityship' in contrast to 'leadership.' Leadership normally gets a lot of attention in Management Studies. The title of the article is "Building Community in the Classroom," but the techniques described translate well into the real world. Our city and our society will be most successful if we all have the skills to work with large groups and are comfortable with effective ways of discussing and coming to an understanding about the major challenges that face us, and are able to launch a collective response to a challenge.
Working effectively in a larger community is harder than working in a small team. Considering the following four questions can help build a foundation for a working community, whether a class of grad students, a political party, or the residents of a city.
Read 'Building Community in the Classroom' here.
I would like to thank all our volunteers for the time and effort you contributed to Jane's Walk and to share a summary of the success of this year's walks.
Waterfront Reconciliation Walk led by John Savage, 2018. Photo by Cara Waters
It took 130 volunteers to pull Jane's Walk together this year, and more than 3000 people came out! Thanks for helping us make this the best Jane's Walk ever! Read more . . .
Synapcity is hosting 100in1day, a global festival of citizen engagement, on June 2. The festival features 'pop-ups' and other activities hosted by individuals and groups across the city. The goal is to facilitate positive engagement and to build bridges between communities across the city. Come out and be inspired!
Small actions can lead to big change.The festival is still accepting pop-ups and activities.
Some options: Double-dutch jump-rope on George St in the Market, lounge in an outdoor living room in Vanier, help design an ideal city on Byron Ave., protest for affordable housing in Heatherington-Herongate, or kiss a puppy in Macdonald Gardens.
Click to see Older Events . . . .
Prime Ministers' Row Walk, led by Francois Bregha, 2018.
Photo by Leigh Thorpe
There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city. People make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans. — Jane Jacobs, "Downtown is for People", The Exploding Metropolis, 1957.
Jane's Walk is a weekend festival of free neighbourhood walking tours led by locals who care passionately about where they live, work and play. Jane's Walk is a pedestrian-focused event that improves urban literacy by offering insights into local history, planning, design, and civic engagement through the simple act of walking and observing. more
"No one can find out what will work for our cities by
looking at garden suburbs, manipulating scale models, or inventing
dream cities. You've got to get out and walk.
— Jane Jacobs, "Downtown is for People", The Exploding Metropolis, 1957.
"I like walking because in cars you can't see very much and can't get a close look at things. When you walk, you can say 'stop' and then look."
— Jane's Walk participant S.B., age 6.
"Une ville, c'est plus que des pierres, des rues, des édifices. C'est des gens qu'on aime et la vie qu'on y mène.
[A city is more than stones, streets, buildings. It's the people we love and the life we lead there.]"
— Christian Larsen, Le Droit, Wednesday, April 13, 2016.
Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau would not be possible without the support of many organizations and individuals. Our sponsors and partners include: