Vancouver, "get out and walk" this weekend
Long time readers of City Caucus will know that we pray at the altar of walkability here. Some of our early posts have taken strong positions on pedestrian-friendly urban design, strong anti-urban sprawl viewpoints and the promotion of walking to school. This weekend Jane's Walk returns to Vancouver, providing a veritable menu of pedestrian activity. Participants will be able to explore locations downtown, and on the east and west sides of our city. Your guides will include urbanist and City Caucus contributor Gord Price, historian John Atkins and even yours truly, though my skills as neighbourhood raconteur pale in comparison to those gentlemen.
The Vancouver organizer of Jane's Walk is a well-known urban thinker and contributor to Spacing Vancouver named Yuri Artibise. It was him that got me involved in this weekend's events. On Saturday, May 5th & Sunday, May 6th, thousands of people in metro Vancouver and around the world will take to the street to answer Jane Jacobs’ famous call to “get out and walk". Yuri took up the challenge for the Vancouver area, and to build upon the success of previous Jane's Walks.
My walk, it should come as no surprise to readers, focuses on Fraser Street at the geographic heart of the city. I've titled the walk "Fraser Street: Past, Present and Future" and I'll be combining historical information with a conversation of where this important former streetcar thoroughfare is headed.
Jane's Walk Vancouver (www.janeswalk.net) provides the following description of the event.
The 6th annual Jane’s Walk is a chance to explore metro Vancouver’s neighbourhoods with fresh eyes and curious mind. This year in Vancouver, there will be a special focus on learning what makes’ our neighbourhoods unique.
Created in 2007 in Toronto by friends of the urban thinker Jane Jacobs, the free, volunteer-led urban walks have grown exponentially from 27 walks the first year to over 500 walks around the world – from Burnaby to Brisbane and Sao Paulo to Surrey – in over 75 cities and 16 countries.
Walks are as varied as the people taking part, and they create the time and space for people to connect, share, and develop ideas about where their communities and cities are at and where they are headed.
Ask yourself – what kind of Jane’s Walker are you? From the Curious who wants to get behind the scenes, the Green at Heart, the Urban Gardener, the friendly Neighbour, the Aesthete roaming the open-air urban museum, the Active moving about the city and the Citizen fascinated by the past and future of the city, its public space and institutions, there are walks for all city-lovers.
For those who just can't get enough Jane Jacobs, here's a little video of the world famous urbanist and author just after her arrival in Canada. This clip is from an old CBC program and focuses on her thoughts about Toronto and Montreal circa 1969.
Find detailed walks at janeswalk.net, look out for posters with walk details in local shops, select favourites on the free iPhone app and get out and walk on Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th!
If you wish to join me on the Fraser Street walk, meet us in front of Starbucks at 4588 Fraser Street @ East 29th Avenue, this Sunday at 1pm. We'll walk for about 2 hours and take a break to chat at the funky Matchstick Coffee Roasters located at 15th Avenue.
- post by Mike