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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Halifax Jane’s Walk traverses transformation


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HALIFAX – About 25 people gathered in front on the Halifax Farmers’ Market last Saturday to take part in Halifax’s Jane’s Walk. This year’s walk, “Change of (s)Pace,” wandered through the downtown, stopping to muse about all kinds of transformations the city is undergoing.

photo by Alison Creba

Hosted by Spacing Atlantic contributors, we followed the participatory principle that everyone is an authority on their community.  Anyone interested was given the opportunity to share thoughts and knowledge on their neighborhoods and city, taking up the megaphone whenever the urge arose.

photo by Mark Lamovsek

This kind of community engagement was reminiscent of the principles put forward by urban thinker Jane Jacobs, whose ideas Jane’s Walk aims to celebrate. First begun in Toronto in 2007, these community-led walks take place in cities across North America and the world, honouring Jane’s vision of a dynamic city where people are connect to their environments and each other. While they may be organized at any time of year, the walks are concentrated around the first weekend in May, taking place in over 400 neighbourhoods worldwide last weekend.

photo by Katie McKay

From piles of rubble at old graffiti grounds

photo by Katie McKay

To historic properties awaiting relocation…

photo by Katie McKay

To papered up storefronts on Barrington St…

photo by Mark Lamovsek

To empty lots awaiting big decisions

photo by Katie McKay

A slew of pending changes were traversed and a diversity of thoughts were shared, maybe even provoking a fresh outlook on our downtown neighbourhood and the way that we engage with it.