The Jane Jacobs Walk is a program of the Center for the Living City, which is a nonprofit organization created by people who knew Jane Jacobs, a community organizer who helped preserve her neighborhoods from destruction by the hands outside interests.
Jacobs, born in 1916 and died in 2006, was an urbanist, activist and writer whose writings bore a community-based approach to city development. Although she did not have any training in urban planning, her 1961 treatise, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” introduced a novel perspective on how cities function, evolve and even how they fail.
Now, her ideas almost seem to be common sense to architects, city planners, politicians and activists.
In Park Slope, Eric McClure from Park Slope Nieghbors and Doug Gordon, founder of the website Brooklyn Spoke, are hosting a “Jane Jacobs Ride” along Prospect Park West on Sunday.
Gordon said that the program is a way to celebrate “the legacy of Jane Jacobs, who literally wrote the book on cities.”
“She wrote about the ‘ballet of the sidewalk,’ the way in which so many different elements add up to give a neighborhood its vibrancy, Gordon said.
And why would a bike ride on Prospect Park West be an appropriate venue for the event?
“On Prospect Park West you can see exactly what Jane meant: the family riding to soccer practice, someone carrying groceries home from the farmer's market, sidewalk vendors selling artwork, people relaxing on the benches, kids eating ice cream, dog walkers going in and out of the park, you name it,” Gordon said.
So, everyone who is interested in celebrating the life and work of Jane Jacobs is welcome to meet at 12 p.m. Sunday, May 6 at Grand Army Plaza, on PPW and Union Street, and go for a bike ride along the bike lane.
But, there is also another reason they picked the PPW bike lane:
“The now-infamous story of the fight over the bike lane is probably as intriguing as any of the big battles Jane Jacobs herself fought when she was living in the Village in the 1960s,” Gordon explained. “We're hoping people come and bring their own stories and appreciations of the neighborhood, too.”
For other Jane Jacobs Walk events in Brooklyn, click here.
Time: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Date: Sunday May 6, 2012
Event Start/End: Prospect Park West and Union Street, adjacent to Prospect Park
Host Organization: Eric McClure (Park Slope Neighbors) and Doug Gordon (Brooklyn Spoke)
Registration: No need to sign up, just show up at the posted meeting location.
Accessibility: Fully Accessible - This is a bike ride that will be suitable for all ages.