Kim Cooper and Ian Ford from Arup’s Liverpool office arranged four walking tours for the global event “Jane’s Walks” on behalf of the RTPI North West Young Planners committee. The event’s aim was to celebrate the life of Jane Jacob’s, an American-Canadian writer who revolutionised the way people think about cities and their developments. Jane Jacobs was a fierce critic of the damaging urban renewal policies of the 1950s which were universally supported at the time. These included high-rise housing projects which Jacob’s felt created environments that isolated tenants and became centres of crime, poverty and despair. Held every year around her birthday, the walks allow anyone who has interest in the built environment to learn more about a specific neighbourhood, discuss and ask questions.
This year, four tours were set up on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May which were:
- Baltic Triangle, led by Gerry Proctor of Engage Liverpool
- Granby and Welsh Streets, led by Marianne Heaslip and Gemma Jerome of Terrace21
- Liverpool Waterfront, led by Professor Ian Wray of University of Liverpool
- Liverpool ONE, led by Graham Marshall of Pro Social Liverpool
Over 150 people attended the walks across the two days, discussing their communities and sharing stories supporting Jacobs’ ethos that “you’ve got to get out and walk”.