Monthly Archives: December 2009

Walk this Way: Jane’s Walk Phoenix is profiled in Sunset

What started with a Twitter conversation with a somewhat incredulous magazine editor (you mean people actually WALK in Phoenix?!?) almost six months ago has finally become a reality. The current (January 2010) issues of Sunset magazine includes a feature on a Jane’s Walk Phoenix. The article covers why I brought the walk to Phoenix as well as some of the encouraging developments in out downtown core. It also mentions Artlink Phoenix‘s First Friday Art Walk, the Morin House, Modified Arts; features a photograph of cycling ‘bodega’ HoodRide in Roosevelt Row; and highlights comments from my friends (and walk participants)  Catrina Knoebl and Jeremy Mudd.

Special thanks go to editor-at-large Allison Arieff for writing the great article, and photographer David Fenton for the amazing photographs. I would also like to thank all of those who participated in the Jane’s Walk event in May 2009 as well as those who came out for the photo shoot in September; the event and the article would not have been a success without you. Plans are already under way for Jane’s Walk 2010, with an expanded slate of events, including a ‘Jane’s Ride.’

You can check out some scanned pages of the article below, but I strongly suggest you make a trip down to the local magazine rack and pick up a copy for yourself. Sunset is a great publication deserving of your support. Besides, in addition to the feature on Jane’s Walk, this month’s issue has a lot of cool content, including a short profile of Helen and Jan of Sweet Republic ice cream.

This article has been cross-posted on my personal website,


5 Facts About the Most Important Woman You Don’t Know

I came across this fact sheet on Jane Jacobs on

Legendary urbanist, thinker, writer, and activist Jane Jacobs
“Jacobs was a woman of infinite humility, compassion, warmth and generosity of spirit. She reveled in challenging conversation with thoughtful people, listened carefully to citizen testimony at public hearings, never resisted the opportunity to stand up to power and wished only for people to continue the dialogue she started, not duplicate her words… Jacobs’s thought and writing comprise a resounding symphony of lessons and ideas; they compose a life’s work about economic, social and environmental justice.”

—The Nation

  1. Jane Jacobs, with no college degree, and never formally educated or professionally trained in urban planning, came to be the most famous urban planning critic and commentator of the 20th century.
  2. At a time when women were not involved in urban planning or government, as a young upstart journalist, Jacobs faced down legendary titan Robert Moses and successfully blocked his plans to destroy entire sections of Manhattan with massive highways.
  3. Her 1961 seminal work Death and Life of Great American Cities proposed radically new principles for rebuilding cities. At a time when common wisdom called for bulldozing slums and opening up city space, Jacobs’s prescription was ever more diversity, density and dynamism. Her book has been credited with reaching beyond planning issues to influence the spirit of the times.
  4. Critics used adjectives like “triumphant” and “seminal” to describe Death and Life of Great American Cities. Wolf Von Eckardt, writing in The Washington Post, observed that it has “proved more important than all the statistical studies of all our myriad urban centers.”
  5. Jacobs was a community organization pioneer: she organized massive grass-roots efforts to block urban-renewal projects that would have destroyed local neighborhoods. She inspired countless individuals and established the importance of citizen participation in community design.

In 1968, Jacobs was arrested on charges of second-degree riot and criminal mischief for disrupting a public meeting about the construction of a 10-lane elevated expressway, which would have sliced across Lower Manhattan and displaced thousands of families and businesses. The charges were dropped, and the expressway never got built.