Jane Jacobs’s 101st birthday is coming up on Thursday, May 4, so my Jane’s Walk tour along the Providence waterfront, starting at Crawford Street Bridge near Hemenway’s, will be on Saturday, May 6. Providence’s river walks were part of a large government redevelopment project of the sort that Jacobs scorned. That only goes to show that such projects are not good or bad because they are big or small. Their merits rest on their characteristics, and it is fair to say that those characteristics are good or bad based on whe- ther Jane Jacobs would like them or not. The bridges, walkways and parks along the Providence and Woonasquatucket rivers are walkable, sittable and lovable. Jane Jacobs would have loved them.
This year will see a host of tours in Providence through Jane’s Walk, which has become an international endeavor. Many municipal and state planning departments have jettisoned modern planning myths and are now run with an eye toward principles she developed through her journalism and activism. Some of the tours will show off how Providence epitomizes these – largely because so much of our city has not been butchered by modern design and planning. Click the link above to see what other parts of the city will be celebrated on Friday, May 5, Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.
My walk, entitled “Providence’s Waterfront: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” will start at noon and stroll north along the Providence and the west up the Woonasquatucket to Waterplace Park. The tour is free, though my radical opinions on architecture might be unsettling to some.