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Jane’s Walk Christchurch Inaugural event to be held 4th/5th

A series of citizen-led walks in Christchurch this weekend explore neighbourhoods through the eyes of locals, in celebration of the life and work of urbanist Jane Jacobs.

Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that help put people in touch with where they live and with each other. The walks encourage people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours.

In Christchurch over the weekend of 4 and 5 May, four walks will be held, one in St Albans, two in different parts of the eastern section of the Central City and one in Charteris Bay. The walks are free to attend and no registration is required – people are invited to just turn up, bring their willingness to look at their city anew and contribute their views and ideas about what makes a great neighbourhood. All the walks are accessible and dog friendly, except for Charteris Bay, where the walk route is unsuitable for wheels (either pushchairs or wheelchairs) and dogs are not allowed.

Jane’s Walk Christchurch co-organiser Josie Schroder of the Urban Design Forum says “Jane Jacobs had a passion for making her city better through citizen knowledge and action. This is the first year of what we hope will endure in bringing Christchurch people together, in our neighbourhoods, to discover, to talk, and strengthen our connections with the people and the place we live in. Let it lead us somewhere wonderful.”

Two locals will take people from Latimer Square to community instigated neighbourhood hub in Chester St East on the morning of Saturday 4 May. Simone Pearson of the Chester Community group and Nick Lovett of the Transportation Group will lead this tour of one of the inner city's most historic and active neighbourhoods.

On Saturday afternoon, local resident Jane Ash will lead a walk through land under Te Ahu Patiki Mt Herbert. Charteris Bay, a semi-rural, harbourside suburb of Christchurch, is home of the Optimist and Orton Bradley Park. On this walk people can learn about the a rich and unique history of the Park and how the land continues to inspire ecologically driven initiatives.

The Edgeware/Edge where? walk on Sunday afternoon is led by Peggy Kelly, who has lived in St Albans/Edgeware for 40 years. Starting at Packe Street Park & Community Garden and walking to Abberley Park, Peggy’s walk goes through Edgeware village centre and takes in new developments, amenities and places of historical interest.

The Festival closes on Sunday afternoon with a humorous walk titled ‘Going the Way of the Moa’, where local resident and urban designer Boyd Barbar will offer a look at the architecture and life of little streets, concentrating on the north-east pocket of the four-avenues.

The local festival is part of an international network offering Jane’s Walks in their cities. Jane’s Walk was conceived to celebrate the life, work and ideas of American urbanist Jane Jacobs, who championed the voices of everyday people in neighbourhood planning and city-making. Since its inception in Toronto in 2007, Jane’s Walk has happened in hundreds of cities around the world. The official global festival weekend is always the first weekend in May. This is the first time the event has been held in Christchurch. The Christchurch festival is co-organised and presented by the Urban Design Forum, the Transportation Group, Women in Urbanism Ōtautahi and Te Pūtahi – Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making.

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