Downtown Akron Partnership and the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) invite the community to participate in Jane’s Walk, an international walking initiative. On Saturday, May 3 three walks will take place in Akron for the first time to explore three facets of the Downtown neighborhood: The Towpath, History and Arts & Culture. Everyone is invited to take part in these walking conversations.
Jane’s Walk has created an opportunity for people to actively engage in city planning. It’s a global movement and social convening of people of every age, ability and income level. It’s an opportunity to get together and explore the city on foot by inventing short walking tours to share with neighbors.
Jane’s Walk City Organizer Phyllis Jividen notes that Jane’s Walk encourages an environment where people choose to walk.
“It’s a great way for participants to experience firsthand our existing conditions of where we walk, and to discuss ideas for improving the pedestrian presence through better connectivity,” she said. “At a time when our cities are experiencing significant transformation, these walks can create real change that acts as a catalyst for the issues that matter to local residents by engaging community discussion and collaboration.”
Hallmarked by a festival on the first weekend of May, the movement was created in 2007 by friends and colleagues of Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), to celebrate the iconic writer and urban activist’s life and ideas. Jacobs wrote in her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities that, “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody only when they are created by everybody.” It is so important that we are all involved in the discussion of good city-building.
Towpath Walk: Hosted by Dan Rice. Meet at Lock 3, 200 S. Main St. at 11 a.m.
During the Towpath walk, participants can share insights and suggestions to make the Towpath easier to navigate and better connected to the vibrancy of Downtown Akron. What are some of the barriers in getting from the Towpath trail to downtown businesses and amenities? How can access improve from the Towpath to downtown attractions?
Downtown History Walk: Hosted by Leianne Neff Heppner. Meet at Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St. at 4 p.m.
During the History Walk, participants can share memories of Downtown and ideas on how to continue its preservation and progress toward a vibrant Downtown. How can we better experience the history of Downtown Akron on foot? How can we identify the historic buildings at street level to help improve the pedestrian presence?
Arts & Culture Walk: Hosted by Suzie Graham. Meet at Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St. at 6 p.m.
During the monthly Artwalk in Akron, come explore the footprint and share thoughts on the current landscape and ideas on how the experience can be enhanced. What values are evident that encourage walking through the arts and culture districts? Is there interaction with the galleries and what improvements can happen to better engage the arts districts?
For additional information about Jane’s Walk, please call AMATS at 330-375-2436 or visit www.downtownakron.com or www.switching-gears.org. More information is accessible at www.janeswalk.org and a page with walks in Akron at www.janeswalk.org/united-states/akron-oh/