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The Festival


Jane’s Walk is an annual festival of free, community-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs—a journalist, author, theorist, activist, and proud Torontonian.

On the first weekend of May every year, Jane’s Walk festivals take place in hundreds of cities around the world. Jane’s Walks encourage people to share stories about their neighbourhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and use walking as a way to connect with their neighbours.

The Jane's Walk festival is largely volunteer-run and donor-funded. Since the festival's launch in 2007, Jane's Walks have been held in nearly 500 cities across 6 continents.

Jane’s Walk Principles

Is volunteer-driven
Jane’s Walk is a volunteer-led movement powered by the communities in which it operates. Anybody can lead a Jane’s Walk, and participation is always free. While the Global Festival takes place annually on the first weekend of May (close to Jane Jacobs’ birthday on May 4th), Jane’s Walks can be led at any time. Local fina
ncial support of Jane’s Walks is permitted, but no fees, charges, or any promotion of commercial activities can be connected to the content or activities of any given walk. 


Is inspired and informed by the world around us
Jane’s Walks are a way for neighbours to meet neighbours, and for neighbourhoods to build community. Jane’s Walk strives to include a wide array of voices and ideas in discussions about cities, neighbourhoods and community engagement. Jane’s Walk is different from other initiatives because the community and its buildings, parks, and broader environment are also active players in the walks. They inspire, frustrate, inform, and direct participation in the conversations. 


Is done in whatever way makes most sense for you
There is no ‘one way’ to lead a Jane’s Walk or run a Festival. For both cities and individuals, Jane’s Walk is a tool to create and encourage conversation. Jane’s Walks take place on foot, through other forms of mobility, through performance, or virtually. The design is intentionally open, serving as a global container for ideas, exploration, and discovery.


Creates an opportunity to hear all voices
Jane’s Walk creates a space where community members with different viewpoints can share their perspectives. As a platform for these voices to be heard, Jane’s Walk directly addresses and takes a stance against hate speech, racism, xenophobia, oppression, and discrimination.


Encourages critical engagement with the ideas and legacy of Jane

Jane’s Walk was created in recognition of the ideas and legacy of Jane Jacobs, who has inspired and influenced city builders for decades. The intent of Jane’s Walk is not to prescribe her teachings on city-making and urban planning, but rather to promote dialogue, discussion, and debate on them.

Recognizes cities are living ecosystems with a past, present and future
Jane’s Walk encourages reflection about the history of habitation and city-building. Jane’s Walks can prompt questions about who has been displaced or marginalized in a particular space, in a critical, investigative way. They can inspire dialogue on ways of moving toward greater equity, together.

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