I took the long way home the other night and walked through the West Village. I passed the ancient White Horse Tavern and stopped at 555 Hudson Street, the former home of Jane Jacobs. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1916, Jane Jacobs was an activist and writer, passionate about urban planning and an advocate for her own Greenwich Village neighborhood, which she saved from the wrecking ball in the 1960s. It was here on Hudson Street that she raised her family, hung out at the Horse, and also wrote the ground-breaking “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” (This year marks the 50th anniversary of its 1961 publication.) Her book, in part, addressed urban renewal and the devastating impact it has on established neighborhoods. In 1968 Jane and her family moved to Toronto, where she continued her writing and advocacy until her death in 2006.
A worldwide event called Jane’s Walk celebrates the work of Jane Jacobs. Jane’s Walk began in Toronto in 2007 and will be held the weekend of May 7-8. This year, along with Canada and the United States, free neighborhood tours by local volunteers will be led in Barcelona and Madrid, Amsterdam, Guadalajara, Tel Aviv, Berlin and more. As their website states, “Jane’s Walk celebrates the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs by getting people out exploring their neighbourhoods and meeting their neighbours.”
Posted by Nik’sMom (Terre Grilli)