What is Jane’s Walk? And who’s Jane anyway?

Jane’s Walk was founded in Toronto in 2006 by a group of energetic volunteers holding neighborhood walking tours honoring the legacy of urbanist and writer Jane Jacobs. Since then it has grown into a global festival taking place in 245 cities worldwide last year. Every year Jane’s Walk takes place the first weekend of May. Philadelphia volunteers have been holding Jane’s Walks for nearly a decade.

Jane’s Walks encourage people to share stories about their neighborhoods, make visible hidden aspects of their communities, and use walking as a way to connect with each other. Jane’s Walks are led by volunteers (anyone can be a walk leader), guiding a walking conversation that creates space for sharing observations, telling stories, and learning out loud.

Jane’s Walks are occasions to slow down, look closer, and learn together. We think Philadelphians deserve more opportunities to elevate the voices of residents as experts, to talk about the wellbeing of our neighborhoods, and advance the cause of community-driven city building – in person, on the street, in real time. Jane’s Walk is free and open to anyone. Join any walk – or lead one yourself.

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was a writer, urbanist and activist who championed the voices of everyday people in neighborhood planning and city-building. You can read more about her here.

What makes a walk a Jane’s Walk?

  • Free, volunteer-led, and open to everyone There can be no registration, fee, or donation associated with leading or participating in a Jane’s Walk.
  • Non-commercial and non-partisan They cannot be used to promote a business or a candidate running for office.
  • Seek to promote dialogue Jane’s Walks are dialogues that seek to engage participants in conversation. They are not walking lectures.

Read the Jane’s Walk Principles, updated in 2021.
More questions? Contact us.