Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Charlotte to hold 2 'Jane Jacobs Walks' May 4

If you know who Jane Jacobs was and understand the role her work has played in revolutionizing thinking about cities and planning since the 1960s, you'll understand why her birthday is a time to encourage city-dwellers to get to know their own places a little better.

For the second year in a row, the online publication I run for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is sponsoring a Jane Jacobs Walks in Charlotte. For more information, visit

New for this year: We're sponsoring two walks, in two different parts of the city. The walks are part of a movement around the globe to celebrate on the weekend of Jacobs' birth. 

1. Like last year's Jane Jacobs Walk (read about it here, and here), one will be a munching tour of East Charlotte, led by historian Tom Hanchett of Levine Museum of the New South.
2. The new, additional Jane Jacobs Walk will focus on South End its history, redevelopment and urban design successes and challenges. That one will be led by UNC Charlotte architect and urban design Professor David Walters

Details on Walk No. 1: Saturday May 4, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Hanchett, on his "Munching Tour," will encourage participants to look at the immigrant-run restaurants and stores in East Charlotte as embodying some of the elemental principles of Jane Jacobs' writing about cities how they absorb newcomers and allow for entrepreneurial businesses, even if the setting is not necessarily affluent or glossy.

We'll sample foods at several restaurants as we walk.

RSVP: Email The maximum number of participants for Hanchett's walk is 18. Bring cash for purchasing food samples, and wear comfortable shoes. We'll let you know beforehand where the exact gathering spot will be.

Details on Walk No. 2: Saturday May 4, 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

On the South End tour, Walters will discuss Jane Jacobs' principles for lively city neighborhoods, and point to ways South End exemplifies them in some cases and lacks them in other cases. Walters directs the Master's in Urban Design program at the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture.

We'll look at developments along and near the Lynx Blue Line. The walk will end at a neighborhood pub, Big Ben, at Atherton Mill along the Lynx tracks.

RSVP: Email There is no maximum number of participants but please register so we'll have an idea of how many people to expect and to let you know beforehand where to gather.  Wear comfortable shoes.

In case of rain, we'll still be walking. Bring umbrellas.