Abbotsford holds several citizen-led walking tours this week as part of the global Jane’s Walk movement.
The Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) has partnered with Heritage Abbotsford Society, the Abbotsford Arts Council, Tourism Abbotsford, the City of Abbotsford, University of Fraser Valley (UFV), and The Reach Gallery Museum to co-ordinate the walks in memory of Jane Jacobs.
Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking conversations aimed at exploring and celebrating the places where one lives, works and plays.
Jacobs, an American-born writer and activist, was a champion for giving voices to residents in neighborhood planning. After her passing in 2006, a movement was started by her friends and colleagues in honour of her ideas.
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody,” wrote Jacobs in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
Jacobs believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy, and cities planned for and by people.
She believed that for a city to work, the people who live there must be involved in decisions about how the city grows and is run.
This includes staying informed about civic issues, discovering the diverse layers of urban place and taking part in civic change and growth.
Abbotsford residents are encouraged to take part in this discussion by conducting or joining these planned walks.
The inaugural event is sponsored by Heritage Abbotsford Society and the Abbotsford Arts Council. The first walk will follow the kickoff ceremony on Friday, May 5 at 11 a.m. at Trethewey House Heritage Site, 2313 Ware St.
Another walk takes place Saturday, May 6 at Haven Yoga and Wellness (#302 – 2600 Gladys Ave.) at noon and concludes with a social mixer at Bishop’s Centre (2556 Montrose Ave.) at 4 p.m.
Several other walks are planned throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May 5 to 7). Visit janeswalk.org and search “Abbotsford” for the complete schedule.