By Dwayne Keir, Member-at-Large
As the old adage goes: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts?”
But what does that actually mean? How does this concept work in the real world?
Both of these questions can be answered when trying to understand what builds, maintains and sustains a community.
The work of Jane Jacobs centered on creating concepts and systems that will better understand these type of questions, while seeking to achieve better answers to them as well.
Humans obviously prefer, as a minimal standard, a living arrangement that is safe, healthy, enjoyable, affordable, clean, and accessible.
What makes the concept of “a community” complex is that each person will have a unique perspective of what this type living arrangement consists of.
Since 2007, on the first weekend of May walking events have been organized around the globe in honor of Jane Jacobs and her work.
The walks are local, diverse, and most importantly, informally planned so that they simply frame discussions about the community in which they occur.
A walk can be as simple as moving between and discussing the favourite gathering places in a neighbourhood and why people gather there.
These types of shared experiences are the roots of self organizing systems which build and grow vibrant communities.
Basically, there are no rules for the walks, the only goal is to understand and enhance our community through sharing reflections of where and how we live.
If anyone is interested in coming out, or organizing a walk, please feel free to send a quick message to any of the Jane’s Walk contacts, or post your own walk on the website below.
Photo: Alexandra Guerson/Flickr