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Archive for May 8, 2013

Jane’s Walk 2013, East Calcutta (Kolkata) Wetlands

Jane Jacobs

Journalist, Author, Activist and Urban Thinker

“You’ve got to get out and walk”

Jane Jacobs (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Jane Jacobs (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American–Canadian journalist, author, and activist best known for her influence on urban studies. She had no formal training in architecture or urban planning yet her influential book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” (published in 1961) introduced ground breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail that now seem like common sense to generations of architects, planners, politicians and activists.

Jacobs saw cities as integrated systems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used. With a keen eye for detail, she wrote eloquently about sidewalks, parks, retail design and self-organization.

A firm believer in the importance of local residents having input on how their neighborhoods develop, Jacobs encouraged people to familiarize themselves with the places where they live, work, and play.

Started in 2007, a year after her death, Jane’s Walks are held annually during the first weekend in May, to coincide with her birthday. Jane’s Walk consists of a series of neighbourhood walking tours. The walks are led by local volunteers and offered for free.

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