You’ve got to get out and walk. Walk and you will see that many of the assumptions on which projects depend are visibly wrong...

(Jane Jacobs)

Amplify your voice with a Jane's Walk London

Anyone can lead a Jane’s Walk because everyone is an expert on the places they live, work, and play. Jane Jacobs believed that the people best equipped to understand cities and make decisions about them are “ordinary, interested citizens”. She sensed that getting to know our neighbourhoods and each other is the foundation of city-building.

Maintaining the true spirit of our festival, we want to encourage people to use “virtual walking” as a way to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours. While we might not be allowed to meet in person, we can still use different digital tools to exchange knowledge and meet others.

Please note: submitted walk activities will be reviewed by Jane’s Walk London team and only those in line with our principles and purpose will be selected and included in this year’s festival programme. All Walk Leaders will be notified.

What is a Jane's Walk

Jane’s Walk is a global movement that operates at a hyperlocal scale. It’s a little different in each city, but these Principles are the common framework for Jane’s Walk everywhere.


A Jane’s Walk is a walking conversation that can be about anything. It holds space for the perspectives of anyone who has a story to tell.


What Jane’s Walk is about:


  • Connect people to places they live, work and play

  • We are all experts of our neighbourhoods

  • Learn more about our cities, the good and the bad

  • Discuss ways things can be improved

  • Highlight unexpected voices and diverse perspectives

  • Help knit people together into a strong and resourceful community, instilling belonging and encouraging civic leadership



Jane's Walks are named after Jane Jacobs, an American-born writer and activist best known for her writings about cities. Her first book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), upended the ideas of modernist city planning and building, and offered a new vision of diverse, fine-grained cities made for and by ordinary people.


You don’t have to have read Jane Jacobs or know anything about her to lead a Jane’s Walk, but she had some important ideas about cities that can help inspire your walk.


How to plan a virtual walk

  1. CHOOSE A TOPIC/PLACE: To plan a successful Jane’s Walk activity, we suggest you to start choosing a place you’d like to explore or a topic you’d like to discuss with a wider audience. After that based on what is better for you and your walk, you can start thinking about the platforms and formats that you prefer.

If you are an organisation, please consider using a Jane's Walk to raise awarness about your activities.

  1. CHOOSE THE ONLINE FORMAT:

Live-stream walks: These walks are led by individuals who wish to stream their walking tours via their phone or computer either via Zoom/Teams/Instagram Story/Facebook.

On-demand walks: An on-demand experience is a pre-recorded tour (virtual self-guided walks) that offers walk leaders flexibility, potentially reaching a wider audience who can tune in at any time and allows them to focus on their content.

Hybrid: Mix of on demand and live formats.

  1. MAKE SURE YOU ARE ENGAGING WITH OTHER PEOPLE: At Jane’s Walk London we are keen on discovering new places by people’s stories and experiences. We consider that one of the key elements that make for a great walk is engaging a group in a participatory activity. Whether you are leading a live-stream walk or an on-demand walk, we would like to encourage you to make attendees feel part of your walk and interact with your possible guests (e.g. via using the chat function).

  2. THINK ABOUT HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR WALK: Before submitting your walk, make sure the title and description are clear and catchy. This will help attract potential attendees!

  3. PLAN A ROUTE AND SET A DATE: Make sure to include this information in the form. Most virtual walks will take place during the festival from 4th to 9th May but we can consider other dates.

  4. SUBMIT YOUR WALK!


For inspiration, browse stories and photos from past walks on our Archive page.

Live-Stream Walks

Live- Stream Walks: record yourself as you go on a walk that you can stream online. These walks are led by individuals who wish to stream their walking tours via their phone or computer either via Zoom/Instagram Story/Facebook.

A live experience will be scheduled to take place on a specific date, at a specific time during the period of the festival, May 4-9.

While we cannot do it in real life, we would like to still encourage you to promote conversations and discussions about our city.

This could be done by walk leaders inviting friends or people they know and they would like to share their event with, as well as, to coordinate a live-walk between two applicants. Jane’s Walk London is happy to be the co-host or put you in contact with other walk-leaders to organise the event.

Here some other tips to make sure your walk will trigger some discussion:

  • We suggest leaders brainstorm a few questions before the event starts.

  • Give attendees the opportunity to ask, talk and share their thoughts, possibly using the chat function.

  • Consider the option to include any extra information that you consider relevant, interesting about your topic.

  • Consider recording your walk and so give the opportunity to a wider audience that might not be able to join at the pre-settled time to watch it in their spare time.

We would also suggest to consider a Hybrid format and use a pre-recorded video to share during an online live event and start a conversation with your guests and/or audience.



On-demand Walks

On-demand (virtual self-guided walks) offers walk leaders flexibility, potentially reaching a wider audience who can tune in at any time and allows them to focus on their content.

Virtual self-guided walks are created by submitting:

  • a pre-recorded Video

  • a combination of photos and text of a walking tour

The second format could be one single page combining images and texts or a longer file in PDF format. Images can be photos, sketches, collages, created by walk-leaders accompanied by text/short stories that will help the audience understand the walk.

Videos could also include voice-over recordings as well as music to make them more engaging for the audience.

We leave it open to leaders to be as creative as possible with their walks to attract participants and to consider this as an opportunity to meet new people and exchange their experiences in our city.

General Tips

- Share Community Voices: Another great way to plan for your activity is by researching who in your community may want to share their knowledge and local history. Hearing directly about someone’s lived experience makes a personal connection and is even more engaging.

- Incorporate Multiple Perspectives: You can play a curatorial role on your activity by adding different voices, recruiting subject matter experts, and posing questions to generate discussion and highlight local knowledge. As virtual activities are not bound to a physical location, you may even consider inviting someone to join you from outside of London to encourage inter-city dialogue. This can make for an even more dynamic activity!

- Stay Curious, Learn, and Practice: Don’t worry about being an expert. You are a professional in your own experience of the city and you have plenty to share. However, if you are leading a live activity, such as conversation on Zoom or social media, we encourage you to practice on the platform ahead of time, inviting any special guests who may join you to ensure they are also comfortable using the technology. This will help to avoid technical issues day-of, and will allow you to rehearse, check your internet connection, and get your lighting and background just right. If you are sharing an on-demand activity, it is helpful to seek feedback from some friends before finalizing the details too!

- Connect with Jane’s Walk London Leaders: consider this opportunity to communicate with each other, share helpful resources, seek help in Jane’s Walk planning, or offer to lend a hand! We welcome feedback to ensure leaders and participants experience improve each year.


How we are supporting you

Pre-Festival: We hope the information provided has already given you an idea of the virtual walk you could organise. However, we have also planned 2 online orientation and training sessions to support you during the registration process.

During the meeting we will share:

  • more details on Jane's Walk London and the 2021 festival

  • examples of live-stream and on-demand formats for creating a Jane’s Walk

  • instructions on the submission process

  • tips for promoting your walk and stay connected with other Walk Leaders

Please register for your place on our Event page and note that the two sessions will cover the same content.

Festival: We will promote your events on our channels and eventually support you with your live walks upon previous request.


If you have any questions, write to us at janeswalklondon@gmail.com.