In a nutshell, Jane's Walks are neighbourhood tours led by experts: the people who live in or use the places. Jane is Jane Jacobs. She was a writer/activist who was all about cities and what makes them work well. My posse, the T-Dot Book Club, consumed one of her tomes, and what I took away from it was that mixing up a variety of uses and folks makes an area lively, makes people feel they're part of something and makes us care about our places.
If you know the E.T. Seton Public Range, you'll see why this has me reflecting. A beautiful piece of land reserved for archers, nestled behind the Science Centre - a major city attraction - in an alcove of a network of greenspace where we cross paths with frisbee golfers and dog walkers but we're tucked away enough to be hidden like a fairy colony. From a handful of fellas who've come for decades, in a few years it's become a bustling array of interests, one person looking for a solitary meditative pursuit, a bunch of coworkers learning from the one-who-knows-how, coaches training up their students, students getting to know each other on a free night when they can get together to try out a further distance than they can shoot at their lessons. All kinds. They get talking and it leads to stuff like a fabulous Facebook group. Organized events. A bit of impromptu advice here and there. Sprucing the place up with little unsolicited improvements. And I've noticed, even new faces talk about the range with some ownership and pride. Experts on their place.
I'm not sure it would make much of a Jane's Walk. Even though we archers do a ton of walking. Can you picture it?: the group led back and forth from the line to the targets a few dozen times.