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.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Jane’s Walk is an international “street-level celebration” of Jacobs’ legacy and ideas. The walks honor the legacy and ideas of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs who championed the interests of local residents and pedestrians over a car-centered approach to planning. They do so by combining the simple act of walking with personal observations, urban history and local lore. It is a means of knitting people together into strong and resourceful communities through bottom-up approaches and neighborhood involvement. All Jane’s Walk tours are given and taken for free. Anyone who has an interest in the neighborhoods where they live, work or hang out can lead one of these walks.

I hosted the inaugural Jane’s Walk in Phoenix last May (2009). During the walk, about 35 people joined me as we explored and rediscovered the core of downtown Phoenix, including the historic Roosevelt neighborhood, Roosevelt Row and the arts district, ASU’s Downtown Phoenix Campus, the new Civic Space Park and other key areas of downtown Phoenix. For more information, including background on Jane’s Jacobs, photos from the walk, local coverage of the walk, and various other details, you can visit my Jane’s Walk Phoenix website.

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.

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Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.