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Jane’s Walk

Jane’s Walk

Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs and takes place each year on the first weekend of May. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbors.

Interested in leading your own walk? The Jane’s Walk Project Office created a great “How to Lead a Jane’s Walk” presentation to help.

If you plan to host a walk in your neighborhood this year, please let us know! We’re compiling all Massachusetts walks to encourage participation.

2019 Walks & Events

Somerville
Film Screening: “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City”
Remnant Brewing, 2 Bow Market Way (Outdoors, please dress for the weather)
Thursday, May 2, – 7-9pm

Co-sponsored with Union Square Main Streets and Remnant Brewing.  Documentary (92 min.) is kick-off for a “Jane’s Walk” on Sun. Highlights why Jane Jacobs is so widely acclaimed for her visionary activism, enabling residents to successfully challenge a major highway project through NYC in the 60’s, and more.  Outdoors at Remnant’s courtyard, so may need to bundle up! More info

Boston – Seaport District
Saturday, May 4, 2-4pm

Boston University City Planning Professor Jim O’Connell (Author, The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth) will lead a Jane’s Walk through Boston’s Fort Point Channel District, Seaport District, and Harborwalk. Join the walk to help figure how much the development in these areas follows the urban planning principles of Jane Jacobs—or not. Other invited urbanists will add their perspective to the conversation. Meet in front of South Station. The walk will end at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage in the Seaport District. RSVP via email at jcoconnell@comcast.net. This is a free event.

Boston – West End Museum
Saturday, May 4

This year the West End Museum will be showing an original video of Jane Jacobs from their archives all day on Saturday, May 4, 2019. More info

11th Annual Cambridge walk – Taylor Square Neighborhood
Saturday, May 4, 10-11:30am

It will explore the current controversy about house tear-downs by walking, observing, and discussing this issue as experienced by the Taylor Square neighborhood, located on either side of Sherman Street between Huron Avenue and Walden Street. Throughout the city, developers are demolishing older viable homes and replacing them with larger, luxurious houses – rather than rehabilitating them – which many feel is detrimental to both the environment and the character of existing neighborhoods.

Meet at 10 a.m. in front of the fire station at the intersection of Huron Ave., and Garden and Sherman Streets. This is two blocks east of the Concord and Huron stop on bus lines 72, 75, and 78. From the fire station, we will proceed up Sherman and take a right on Winslow, before going down Fenno and the alley known as Esten St. to Stearns St. and Chetwynd Rd. All are welcome to gather afterwards at Paddy’s Lunch, 260 Walden St., independently owned and run by the same family for 85 years! Here you can purchase beverages. We will bring in local pizza from Armando’s, and if you would like some, please chip in $5 to cover this. Please RSVP to lang.glenna@gmail.com if you plan to join the lunch gathering and would like to have some pizza.

As always, we welcome the observations of all walkers. Current residents will point out tear-down sites, describe the neighborhood and its history, and offer accounts of proposed projects. Charles Sullivan, executive director of the Cambridge Historical Commission, will be on hand this year as a resource, not a tour guide. Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who might be interested.

Somerville
Sunday, May 5, 2-4pm
Starts at Top of Winter Hill – 425 Broadway, SomervilleMA

Theme for this year’s annual event celebrating Jane Jacobs, a world-renowned urban activist, is “Somerville’s Winter Hill and Gilman Square: Past, Present and Future.” Co-sponsored with the Gilman Square and Winter Hill Neighborhood Associations, this neighbor-led tour will start atop Winter Hill (425 Broadway), and meander downward to end at Gilman Square, with the upcoming GLX station and a newly designed SHS campus. Rain or shine! Be sure to stop by nearby Somerville Open Studios spots SOS which occur both Sat. and Sun., noon-6pm. Grab coffee at Winter Hill Brewery (free small to walkers & stop by Tipping Cow for discount ice cream). More info


2018 Walks

Newton
Saturday, April 28, 11am

City Councilor Andreae Downs will be holding “walking office hours” Saturday April 28th as a sort of Jane’s Walk: “I’m scheduling office hours for April in Upper Falls! Weather permitting, we’ll make it a talking/walking tour–starting at The Depot (1225 Chestnut St. Newton, MA) at 11 on April 28th (Saturday), ending at Dunn Gaherin’s, (344 Elliot St, Newton, MA) with a few  stops along the way to savor the best points of UF. Weather not permitting, we’ll just start at Dunn Gaherin’s and grab a corner to chat about your ideas and questions about city issues. Let me know you are coming at adowns@newtonma.gov  so I can warn Seana of the likelihood of table monopolization.”

Worcester
Jane Week – April 30 – May 6

Neighborhood Jane Walks, a pop up parklet, a game show on the WRTA, an open house at the Printers Building, mural painting and more…. ALL EVENTS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! COME AND JOIN US!

Jane Week gives Worcester residents and visitors a chance to connect to each other, explore Worcester by foot and participate in interesting discussions on how we can enhance the design and function of our city. The event is named for Jane Jacobs, an urban theorist and activist who championed a communitybased approach to city building. Jane Week in Worcester is primarily composed of Jane Walks, volunteer-led walking tours, a pop-up parklet and other forums. Jane Week in Worcester joins an international movement that occurs the first week in May in over 250 cities across the world.

Worcester Jane Week Facebook Page
Website with full schedule & info

Dedham
Sunday, April 15, 2pm to 3pm
Saturday, April 21, 10am to 11am
Saturday, April 28, 2pm to 3pm
Saturday, May 5, 2pm to 3pm
Saturday, May 12, 10am to 11am

Walk a Section of the Rail Corridor! Meet at the parking area at the track/football field on Whiting Ave. The parking lot is at the righthand end of the track and the gate to the rail corridor is right beside the parking lot. The Friends of the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail is a dedicated group of residents working to convert the 1.5 mile abandoned railway that runs from East Street to Readville train station into a multi-use, fully accessible path incorporating and connecting public art, community gardens, and Dedham’s rich history with adjacent neighborhoods and schools. 

Friends of the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail website

Chelsea
Wednesday, May 2, 5:30pm

Join WalkBoston and community partners to highlight local walkability, transit and development projects and opportunities, while also emphasizing the need to maintain affordability and prevent displacement. WalkBoston will gather a group at South Station at 5:00pm to ride the new MBTA Silver Line Gateway to Chelsea by 5:30pm. We will then walk along the Gateway’s new multi-use path and down Broadway to examine creative affordable housing and transportation initiatives, ending at a local restaurant for food, drink, and continued conversation.

RSVP on Eventbrite

Boston
Friday, May 4, 6-7:30pm

Film Screening – Citizen Jane
More info / buy tickets

On the eve of the annual ‘Jane’s Walk’ in cities around the world, join BSA Space for a screening of Citizen Jane, a documentary that tells the story of a David-and-Goliath fight over urban planning that took place more than 50 years ago.

Newton
Saturday, May 5, 9am

City Councilor Alison Leary is hosting a Jane’s Walk. “Please join me for a neighborhood “bird walk” along the Charles River Path to enjoy the sights and sounds of the River including new spring migrants.
Meeting Place: Path entrance Chapel and California Street
Length: Approx 3 miles at an easy pace. We will look for seasonal migrants along the way. Expect to find warblers, orioles, vireos, cardinals, goldfinches and wrens.
Bring binoculars if you have them. In the event of steady rain, we will reschedule for Sunday May 6th.
This is part of the “Jane’s Walk Festival weekend” celebrating the legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs which encourages people to get out to explore their neighborhoods. Please contact Alison Leary directly with any questions.”

Cambridge
Saturday, May 5, 10:30am

Jazz and Rock at an Old Trolley Stop
Stand at the corner of Brookline Street and Massachusetts Avenue, and, depending on the hour, you will hear sounds of jazz and rock from The Middle East restaurant and nightclub. But there was a time, a century ago, when instead there would have been the clatter of trolleys heading up from their car barn. Michael Kenney, longtime Boston Globe city-reporter now independently researching Cambridge’s history, will lead us through a choice sample of local historical layers of city life up to the present. We will head down Pearl Street from Mass. Ave. for a half dozen or so blocks and then walk back up the parallel Brookline St, one block east, passing – among many intriguing sights – the old car barn itself and the 1920s EMF electrical supply warehouse, now studio space for two hundred musicians. Meet at 10:30 a.m. on the Carl Barron Plaza on the south side of Mass Ave opposite Essex Street (by the T stop). End at The Middle East café, where those who wish may purchase lunch and continue the conversation.

Westborough
Sunday, May 6, 1:30pm

The Town of Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, in cooperation with the other towns, is hosting a series of walks and talks this year to introduce people to the proposal for the Boston Worcester Air Line Trail.

Walk – A look at the trolley line: 1:30 p.m. May 6 at 2000 West Park Drive. The rain date will be May 20. This will be a walk on the right of way of the Boston Worcester Air Line Trolley which the Town of Westborough is working to make a trail. The group will discuss the progress and the problems of building on an old right of way that was broken up and sold off over 85 years ago. They will highlight the initial construction of the trail and what our plans are for connecting the MBTA station to the various office parks in Westborough. This is a fairly easy walk, good walking shoes are required.

Lowell
Friday, May 11, 1pm
Saturday, May 12, 10am

Free walking tour of historic Lowell Cemetery (77 Knapp Ave), led by Richard Howe. Begins at Lawrence Street gate. (Friday and Saturday are the same tour).

Richard Howe’s website

Boston – Jamaica Plain
Saturday, May 12, 11am

Walking Tour of Monument Square
Tour a residential area that includes a National Historic District. View architecture that spans three centuries; the oldest community theater company in the United States; and an elegant 18th-century mansion that once served as the country’s first military hospital. Learn about the monument that commemorates fallen Civil War soldiers from West Roxbury and about Pauline Agassiz Shaw who established the class that became the model for continuous free kindergarten education. We will visit a house dating to 1716 that once served as a tavern, the Eliot School dating back to 1689, the home of the first woman to graduate from MIT and the First Church Burial Ground.

Jamaica Plain Historical Society website

View an archive of 2017 Jane’s Walks