July 23rd, 2024

Lethbridge neighbourhoods participate in annual Jane’s Walk

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on May 10, 2022.

Herald photo by Justin Seward A group of Jane's Walk participants in the Garry Station neighbourhood gathered at Central Station Park after the walk on Saturday afternoon.

Lethbridge participated in the annual worldwide Jane’s Walk over the weekend.
The west-end neighbourhood of Garry Station hosted its inaugural walk this year, and London Road as well earlier in the day.
Jane’s Walk is a global pedestrian-powered movement of neighbourhood-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs, an urbanist.
“The purpose of the walk is to encourage people to get out on the streets of their neighbourhoods to discover unseen, under-celebrated and unique stories about their city,” as read in the city’s release.
“Through the simple act of walking together and discussing what makes a neighbourhood, Jane’s Walk helps knit people together into stronger and more resourceful communities.”
Lethbridge participates every year and it was prior to the pandemic that they began in one neighbourhood and saw that number grow to 16.
“Now after COVID we’re trying to rebuild that,” said Genesis Hevia Orio, community planner with the City of Lethbridge and organizer of Jane’s Walks.
“She (Jacobs) was a writer and an urbanist who shaped how we do planning today,” said Hevia Orio.
“And she advocated for the people living in communities, rather than just the buildings, which was typically how cities were planned. They only cared about the physical aspects. Jane Jacobs advocated for the hidden and the little communities that get formed when people build relationships and she advocated that cities needed to be more diverse and appreciate what they have in their history. It was very important when Jane Jacobs began getting involved with urban planning because at the time, the 1950s, the engineers in charge of assigning cities, they were just signing for personal vehicles because that was a thing that was new and shiny. Whereas Jane Jacobs advocated for walkable neighbourhoods and to preserve places that could have been great locations for freeways.”
Now we have urban planning principles that are applied in how we do planning in Lethbridge and worldwide that were introduced by her, she says.
The Garry Station Jane’s Walk had 30 participants out.
“We basically wanted to organize this walk to promote neighbours getting to know neighbours,” said Debby Savidant, Garry Station neighbourhood association’s board member for health and wellness.
“And the walking aspect – you know the health and wellness aspect, the psychological aspect of people knowing who they live with and really just an opportunity to grow our neighbourhood and get people to meet each other.”
London Road had about 40 participants turn out and their neighbourhood was focusing on trees, and their conditions, types and what can be done to treat older trees.

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