Walking & Fieldnotes
Since 2007, the Dept has undertaken ground-breaking academic studies of walking environments in collaboration with University of Toronto's Professor Paul Hess. In academic work and community consultation, we have adapted and fine-tuned the immersive walk experience into a tool for gathering public feedback. Our WalkShops and Fieldnote programs draw people in to listen, share and learn about their cities and neighbourhoods and each other.
Notably, Jane was the first Executive Director of Jane’s Walk, and guided it through its local inception to an international phenomenon.
[examples of fieldnotes and ethnography with Mia's work]
The Centre for
“Jane Farrow, the founding Executive Director of Jane‘s Walk, received TCAT’s inaugural Active Transportation Champion award in 2009. Jane‘s Walk’s mission is to develop urban literacy and a community-based approach to city building by encouraging citizen-led walking tours that make space for every person to observe, reflect, share, question and collectively reimagine the places in which they live, work and play. [...] Jane was also the co-author, with Dr. Paul Hess, of several suburban walking studies, the first of its kind in North America, which involved community-led examinations of walking conditions in eight Toronto high-rise neighbourhoods.”
“In five years, Farrow took Jane’s Walk from a slightly eccentric idea – ‘let’s do free walks in honour of Jane Jacobs!’ – to an international phenomenon with walks taking place in 75 cities. She made sure the walks didn’t just stay some cozy downtown pastime. Instead, she extended them to all parts of the city and all kinds of people, making the walks a means of expression for suburbs, for youth, for immigrants, for queer culture – creating a dialogue between all of the elements of Toronto’s cultural kaleidoscope.”