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Jane's Walks come to Liverpool

Baltic, Stanley and Hope Street strolls to celebrate urban planning critic

Written by . Published on April 26th 2013.

Jane's Walks come to Liverpool

AN eminent critic of urban renewal policies which fostered crime and poverty is to be celebrated in Liverpool in a series of thought-provoking walks. 

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an American-Canadian writer who revolutionised the way people think about cities and their development. Every year 500 cities across the world host 'Jane's Walks' - urban tours to discuss her legacy and for the first time, Liverpool is taking part. 

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 she felt created environments that isolated tenants and became centres of crime, poverty and despair. 
The walks, organised by Royal Town Planning Institute's (RTPI) North West Young Planners will be held on May 2, 4 and 9th, to coincide with  the anniversary of Jane Jacobs' birth and will centre around the Hope Street, Baltic Triangle and Stanley Street Quarter areas.  
'Jane's Walks' provides a chance for Liverpool's top urban planners to explain how Jane's work has influenced, and will continue to influence, Liverpool's development.  

Jane-Jacobs-9351679-1-402Jane Jacobs 

The event is being supported by economic development company Liverpool Vision and Matt Biagetti, area investment manager for the city centre, will be leading one of the tours.

He said: "Jane was a radical thinker who championed a new, community-based approach to city planning. Her seminal book 'The Life and Death of Great American Cities' is perhaps the most influential book on urban planning and cities ever. She understood that cities should be looked at as living beings and ecosystems that are linked to one another. 
"Her thinking has had a positive impact on cities all over the world, including Liverpool.  All of Liverpool's major development frameworks, including the City Centre Strategic Investment Framework, contain thinking pioneered by Jane, particularly around inclusivity and mixed development to create vibrant, exciting neighbourhoods.

"That is why Baltic Triangle, Hope Street and Stanley Street Quarters have been selected for Liverpool's inaugural 'Jane's Walks'. They are exciting and distinctive with an active, engaged community which Jane would have been sure to commend."

The other two walks will be led by community campaigner Gerry Proctor MBE, chair of Engage Liverpool and Andi Herring, project officer for Stanley Street Quarter.   Liverpool City Councillors Steve Munby and Nick Small are also attending the walks to help lead the discussions.

Cllr Small said: "This is a worldwide movement which will enable people to discover new stories about their city. Jane Jacobs' ideas still inspire and these walks will provide an excellent opportunity to contribute to the debate about our city's way forward and hear of our ambition to build on the remarkable transformation of recent years."

Kim Cooper, Vice-Chair of RTPI North West Young Planners and Jane's Walk Coordinator for the city has been instrumental in organising Liverpool's first Jane's Walks.

She said: "Liverpool has always been a city of radical thinking and embraces pioneers like Jane Jacobs who challenge convention and are prepared to say; 'there is a better way'.

"An initiative like Jane's Walks on the one hand is about heritage and discovery and on the other about generating new ideas for the future and is something in which I'm sure she would have encouraged."  

The tours are free to attend and open to all.  To register your attendance email Kim Cooper at kim_cooper@hotmail.co.uk  
Tour one: May 2, 2013 at 6.00pm, Hope Street, Liverpool 
Tour two:  May 4, 2013 at 11.45am, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool 
Tour three:  May 9, 2013 at 6.30pm, Stanley Street Quarter

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