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)

We are inviting you to lead a Jane’s Walk!

Every year, thousands of Walk Leaders around the world help make their cities stronger by convening walking conversations that connect people, start dialogues, and inspire action.

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.

We encourage people to use walking conversationsas a way to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours.


Deadline for this year's submission: 6th April 2022

Please note: Jane’s Walk supports the principle of self-organization and civic engagement. The walks submitted are not curated. The inclusion of any walk does not imply an endorsement from Jane’s Walk London of any specific perspectives or proposals. However, Jane’s Walk London does reserve the right to withdraw a walk if the subject, location or leader poses any harm or danger to participants, makes use of hate speech, or defames or excludes specific individuals or groups.

What is a Jane's Walk

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.

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

    • Free, volunteer-led, and open to everyone. There can be no registration, fee, or donation associated with leading or participating in a Jane’s Walk.

    • Non-commercial and non-partisan. They cannot be used to promote a business or a candidate running for office.

    • Seek to promote dialogue. Jane’s Walks are dialogues that seek to engage participants in conversation. They are not walking lectures.


Jane’s Walks are often walking tours, but they can also be bike rides, poetry readings, performance art, games, and more!



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



About Jane Jacobs:


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 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.

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

  1. PLAN A ROUTE AND STOPS AND SET A DATE: Walks can happen anywhere—from bustling downtowns to suburban neighbourhoods. Most walks include 3-7 stops, but many walks are much longer or shorter.

Make sure to include this information in the Walk Leaders form. Most walks will take place during the festival from 6th to 8th May, but they can also take place all throughout the year—both day and night.

Decide what you want to talk about. Remember that this isn’t a lecture, and you don’t need to be an expert in history, architecture, heritage, or urban planning. A Jane’s Walk is a unique story about how you see, interact with, and feel about a place or topic.

  1. THINK ABOUT HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR WALK: We will help with this, but you should also promote your walk yourself. Create a Facebook event or share on Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok (hashtags: #JWL2022, # JWLfestival2022). Talk to neighbours, store owners along the route, and friends! You can also ask local community groups to help spread the word. Invite journalists to your walk and add it to any community event listings in local newspapers or magazines.

  2. SUBMIT and LEAD YOUR WALK! Or do get in touch if you have any questions.

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

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. This can make for an even more dynamic activity!

- Embed accessibility in your programme: While the nature of some neighbourhoods, routes, and the act of walking itself mean that not every walk will be fully accessible, we ask you to be conscious of accessibility and thoughtful about your route. Try to strike a balance between talking, movement, and rest. Think about stops that have access to water fountains, restrooms, benches, and shaded areas to recharge. Consider terrain, curbs, staircases, gates, and other barriers that could hinder someone’s ease of movement. Think about whether there are portions of your walk with dim lighting, underpasses, strong odours, excessively loud noises, traffic, or large crowds.

Everyone experiences space differently, so think broadly and empathetically about what could make others feel physically vulnerable or even unsafe. Also consider how you will speak on your walk. Avoid jargon and brainstorm ways of speaking and asking questions that will engage a wide range of participants. Think about what language you will speak and whether you might want volunteer translators or interpreters.

- 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. Remember that this isn’t a lecture. This is a walking conversation.

- Connect with Jane’s Walk London Walk 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 walk you could organise. However, we have also planned 2 orientation and training sessions to support you during the registration process.


Friday, March 18 2022 - Online session, OR

Saturday, March 26 2022 - IRL session (King Cross area, Venue TBC)


During the meeting we will share:

  • More details on Jane's Walk London and the 2022 Festival

  • Examples of past Jane’s Walks and tips to help you create your own 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 Eventbrite page. Please note that the content will be the same for both days (you can choose between a virtual session or an IRL meeting) so we invite you to register for only one date.

Festival: Jane’s Walk is promoted through several communication channels on our website, social media (hashtags: #JWL2022, #JWLfestival2022), video/audio formats and in print advertising. We do encourage participating individuals and organisations to identify themselves as part of Jane’s Walk through inclusion of the event logo and language in their respective communications (e.g. local newsletters, social media posts, word of mouth etc).


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

FAQs

Is photography allowed?

We encourage all walk leaders and participants to take photos and videos while respecting everyones boundaries. We would love to see your photos and video shared with us on social media using the hashtag #JWL2022 and #JWLfestival2022.


Can I seek compensation for leading a walk?

Jane’s Walk are free and open to the public. We rely on volunteers to lead the walks and therefore walk leaders are prohibited from soliciting compensation (including monetary tips) from attendees.


Can I use Jane’s Walk as a promotional opportunity?

Any marketing materials that are distributed outside of the context and scope of the walk are prohibited. However, we do encourage walk leaders and participants to share information about a particular project, initiative, or events as it relates to the walk.


Will I know how many people to expect on my Jane’s Walk?

We do not track attendance at specific Jane’s Walks, since there is no official registration or RSVPs for participants. Past Jane’s Walks have attracted anywhere from a handful to more than 100 attendees.

What if I need to cancel my Jane’s Walk?

Unfortunately, we have no way of contacting all those that might show up to the meeting location once a walk is promoted. Therefore we encourage you to find a replacement walk leader if you are no longer able to lead it.


Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact janeswalklondon@gmail.com We're here to help!