Architecture and Design

Jane's Walk Explores Historic Adams Street in Downtown Phoenix

Every year over the first weekend in May people all over the world (75 cities in 15 countries as of 2011) gather to take part in Jane's Walk, an event that formed out of famed writer and urbanist Jane Jacob's legacy (and coincides with her birthday).

In case you failed to notice, it's May already, which means that besides the fact that this year is flying by, it's time for Jane's Walk this Saturday.

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Jane's Walk: Phoenix is hosted by local urbanist Will Novak, and this year the tour will explore the history and urban characteristics of Adams Street, which is being reviewed for an "activation project" by the City of Phoenix.

The free walking tour is designed to encapsulate Jacob's desire for people to get out and explore their neighborhoods, meet their neighbors, and become aware of what is going on in their cities.

Jacobs, who wrote the famous 1961 treatise 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities,' was a huge proponent of walkable cities, holding great disdain for car-centric ones. She also believed in the importance of local residents having an input in how their city and neighborhood developed, so awareness was key for her.

Jane's Walk aims to help bridge the gap between isolation and reliance on mechanical modes of transportation by getting people out to explore their sidewalks and experience other like-minded people.

The walk takes place this Saturday at 6 p.m. in an attempt to beat the worst of the day's heat. Meet on the patio of the Marriott Renaissance's Icon Restuarant.

For more information, see Jane's Walk website or the local Phoenix chapter's Facebook page.

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