‘Walk my Joburg’ to take place in June and bring community members together


In 2016 over 1 000 Jane Jacobs Walks – a series of free neighborhood walking, biking and transit tours that help put people in touch with their environment and with the people who live in their community – took place in 212 cities in 36 countries across six continents.

The first-ever such walk was held in May 2007 in Toronto, Canada as a tribute to the American-Canadian journalist, author and activist, Jane Jacobs, best known for her quest to understand what really makes a city. She died on 25 April 2006 at the age of 89.

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It is in the spirit of the Jane Jacobs Walks that the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) has committed funding towards supporting a series of walks that will explore and engage Joburg places, spaces and communities and in turn connect neighbours.

“Our approach is not to reinvent or to replicate, but rather to plug in and support initiatives or businesses that already exist as well as highlight others who are on the ground and already doing exciting things in their areas,” explained Douglas Cohen, executive manager for planning and strategy at the JDA.

“In short, we will hopefully encourage and support individuals to show us and others, how amazing this city is and in turn receive valuable feedback that supports our practice of co-creation and a more community-based approach to city building.”

Cohen added that the aim is to have all the individual walks hosted over a single weekend in June, primarily focusing on the inner city and surrounds, Alexandra and its surrounds, marginalised areas such as Diepsloot and Ivory Park and the JDA development corridors such as Empire and Perth, Louis Botha, Turffontein and Soweto. “We believe that if our approach is successful, we will continue to support it annually,” Cohen added.

Speaking on the logistics of the walks, Cohen said,”The walks will start and end in a safe space where participants can gather together. The plan is to have the walks span a minimum of one hour and a maximum of three hours, with provision for water and a healthy snack for 30 participants in each walk.”

He added that the necessary security measures will be taken on the day. “Security personnel will be deployed to ensure the safety of each participant during the walk and all the necessary arrangements will be made to ensure all safety requirements are adhered to and that the prerequisite costs are accounted for.”

Details: The inaugural Walk my Joburg event is set to take place on 24 and 25 June. Event details will be made available closer to the day.


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Tshepiso Mametela

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