What is it? A walking tour is as simple as it sounds. It is a tour of the community, usually led by local residents. There are many variations, but such walks allow participants to share their observations and knowledge about the neighborhood, while connecting with fellow citizens who share their interest in the history, culture, and current conditions of a place. Walking enables people to see their neighborhood in new ways, to hear the perceptions of others, and to experience a street or area at a more leisurely, deliberate pace, rather than from inside a car.
How have they been used? Jane’s Walk was founded in Toronto by a small a group of Jane Jacobs’ friends and admirers. Jane Jacobs was a renowned urban scholar and activist for more people-centered cities. Inspired by her vision, the walks support her focus on pedestrians over cars. Since the first walk in 2007, the concept of free, community-led walking tours has expanded to other cities around the world. The Jane’s Walk organization targets the first weekend in May each year as time for volunteers to conduct tours of their communities, open to all. The walks provide a unique opportunity for people to discuss community issues and build connections. (Source: Jane’s Walk)