Jane’s Walk: Exploring and transforming Vienna through walking conversations

Jane Jacobs, the legendary urbanist and activist, was not a city planner, but a concerned citizen and writer who spent a lot of time observing city life and introduced ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail.
Jane’s Walk started with 23 walks in Toronto in 2007 and within a few years became a global movement with more than 1,000 walks in more than 160 cities in 2015. Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation.
Anyone can lead a walk because everyone is an expert on the place where they live! Walk leaders share their knowledge, but also encourage discussion and participation among the walkers. Jane’s Walks can be serious or funny, informative or exploratory; they can look at the history of a place, or at what’s happening there right now.
With four diverse walks and 150 participants, Vienna became part of the global Jane’s Walk festival for the first time in 2014 when Andreas Lindinger brought the festival to the Austrian capital after joining a Jane’s Walk in Vancouver in 2012. In 2015, 400 people joined the eight walks that were led by Viennese citizens during the festival weekend and more walks in different neighbourhoods will happen in the course of the year.
As part of the Walk21 Urban Laboratory sessions, a “Jane’s Walk21″ walk will explorethe venue’s adjacent neighbourhoods and give an insight into Jane Jacob’s ideas and current discussions around walking, community and urban development in Vienna. In particular, Jane’s Walk Vienna City Organizer Andreas Lindinger will share insights and experiences from bringing Jane’s Walk to Vienna while Jane’s Walk Global Director Denise Pinto will discuss how Jane’s Walk has been transforming cities worldwide since 2007.

Duration: 3 hours
Meeting point: Vienna City Hall
Guide: Andreas Lindinger, Jane’s Walk Vienna; Denise Pinto, Jane’s Walk Global Director

This Urban Lab will be accessible and barrier free.

Andreas Lindinger is the City Coordinator of Jane’s Walk Vienna. Andreas also works as a Sustainability Consultant at denkstatt in Vienna, pursues SFU Vancouver’s Next-Generation Transportation Certificate Program, and discusses livable cities and sustainable transportation through social media and his blogs AndreasLindinger.AT and Vienncouver.com.

Denise Pinto is the Global Director of Jane’s Walk. Denise believes in city-building from the bottom up, creative collaborations, digital urbanism and sticky notes. At Jane’s Walk she oversees local and international programming, advocates for the use of walking as a platform for promoting connected communities, and directs the assessment of the project’s charitable impact.

Photo Credit: Andreas Lindinger