Jane’s Walks were inaugurated on May 5, 2007, in Toronto, by the Center for the Living City to celebrate the birthday of Jane Jacobs. The Center for the Living City is a non-profit organization created by Jane Jacobs’ friends to “celebrate her life and legacy by helping people organize walks in their communities around the time of Jane’s birthday in early May.”
Every year since, free neighborhood tours have been held to honor the legacy of the urban activist who argued for “mixed use neighborhoods” and “eyes on the street.” From its first year in Toronto with 27 tours, Jane’s Walks expanded to New York City with the help of Jane Farrow, a CBC broadcaster. Today, Jane’s Walk has expanded to over 75 cities in 15 countries, with over 500 neighborhood tours available.
This year Jane’s Walks will take place in New York City on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, in partnership with the Municipal Art Society. There will be over 100 free guided walks and bike rides, including our very own walk “Woodside — A Crossroad in Queens” led by Untapped Cities writer Matico Josephson, an architectural historian.
While all of the tours should exhibit a side of the City often over looked, here are some of our picks for the best of the 2013 Jane’s Walks. Some of the tours require you to RSVP so be sure to read carefully.
Woodside — A Crossroad in Queens (an Untapped Cities tour)
Activating the Brooklyn Waterfront: A Conversation Along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway (RSVP Required) with Michael Porto of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, who organized the MTA Second Avenue Subway tour we went on last year.