Jane Jacobs is shown here at a 1961 press conference. Jane’s Walk, held across the world in her memory, takes place iin Abbotsford from May 3 to 5.

Jane Jacobs is shown here at a 1961 press conference. Jane’s Walk, held across the world in her memory, takes place iin Abbotsford from May 3 to 5.

Abbotsford hosts series of Jane’s Walk events

Almost 15 walks planned May 3-5 in memory of Jane Jacobs

A city-wide Jane’s Walk in memory of Jane Jacobs runs Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5 in Abbotsford.

Partners include The Reach Gallery Museum, the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association, Heritage Abbotsford, Tourism Abbotsford, the City of Abbotsford and the University of the Fraser Valley.

Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with where they live and with each other by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating space for cities to discover themselves.

Abbotsford launches its third annual Jane’s Walk at The Reach (32388 Veterans on Friday, May 3 from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

The event includes a free screening of the documentary film Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, which tells the story of Jane Jacobs, the namesake of Jane’s Walk.

The launch event at The Reach will also introduce Abbotsford’s latest community art project.

The Community Banner Project began last October, when artists throughout Abbotsford were asked to design lamppost banners to reflect Abbotsford’s contemporary public life and diverse cultural heritage.

More than 50 designs were submitted and 10 were chosen by public vote. The artists were then invited to hand-paint their unique designs onto the banners, which will be on display starting May 3 throughout Abbotsford’s Civic Precinct.

The winning designs were created by Nadia Dodd, Ireland Forsberg, Elaine Garry, Ruth Jackson, Cassidy Luteijn, Courtney Mienkina, Jenny Reilander and Vanessa Serroul.

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Local Jane’s Walk events include a behind-the-scenes look at Abbotsford International Airport, a Filming in Downtown Abbotsford walk, historic walks of Mount Lehman and Clayburn Village, and natural-history walks.

There are close to 15 walks on board, providing participants with a variety of experiences.

Since its inception in 2007, Jane’s Walk has taken place in hundreds of cities around the world. The official global festival weekend is always the first weekend in May but many cities hold walks at other times of the year.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody,” Jacobs wrote in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Jacobs, who died in 2006 in Toronto at the age of 89, believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy, and cities planned for and by people.

For a city to work, the people who live there must be involved in decisions about how the city grows and is run, she said.

Visit eventbrite.ca/o/janes-walk-abbotsford-17176870276 for more information about local Jane’s Walk events.

For information on how to lead a Jane’s Walk in Abbotsford, visit janeswalk.org or email organizers Connie Hackett or Marianne Fedori at janeswalkabbotsford@gmail.com.