For a second year, I was in charge of Jane’s Walk Chicago, the local iteration of a global project that honors the work and legacy of Jane Jacobs by offering free, citizen-led walking tours. Begun in Toronto, it has now spread across hundreds of cities. This year, I co-led 12 events across six neighborhoods, for which APA-IL also provided CM credits. Six events were with Blackspace Chicago and centered on Black identity politics, while the other six were in collaboration with Chicago for Chicagoans. For each of the 12, I brought in either a resident or expert to co-lead the walks. It was a complicated affair, for which I handled all the marketing and registration, but it all went off seamlessly and each weekend for six weeks I had 20-50 people exploring various parts of the city with me.
My walk co-leaders deserve special mention – I was lucky to walk with landscape architect Camille Applewhite in Uptown, photographer/queer historian Andie Meadows in River North, artist/futurist Ladipo Famidou in Bronzeville, urban planner/artist Katanya Raby in the South Loop, and community activist Debbie Liu in Chinatown.
Throughout, we had far-reaching conversations about race and segregation, immigration and exclusion, past and present, planning and policy. It was a gratifying experience and I am grateful for everyone who helped make it a success!