The inaugural Jane’s Walk Phoenix was a huge success. Over thirty people took advantage of the nice weather to come out and celebrate Jane Jacobs and learn more about the neighborhoods of downtown phoenix. The intimate size of the group allowed people to meet one another and share stories, history and gossip about the streets, parks and building that we passed during the walk. Special thanks goes to Cartina Knoebl, Greg Esser and Kimber Lanning for sharing their knowledge and insights along the route, as well as all the participants for their great questions and observations., As I’ve said from the beginning, it’s the participants who are the true guides of the walk. Special thanks also to Jack London, Nick Bastien (Rail Life), and David Bickford (PHXRailFood) for taking photos along the way.
During the walk we learned about the good (adaptive use sites like Morin House and Modified Arts), saw some of the bad (boarded up buildings and deserted streets) and heard about some of the ugly truths (land-banking) about the Roosevelt and Churchill neighborhoods.. We also talked about the responsibilities each one of us has to make sure that downtown Phoenix (or any neighborhood) is the type of place YOU want to live. I think each person who took part learned something new, even those who have spent years living downtown. Moreover, and more important, everybody got the opportunity to meet somebody new, building and strengthening the downtown community. After all, the strength of any neighborhood is the connections between the people who live, work and play in it.