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Walkable Art in Brentwood

"You've got to get out and walk" - Jane Jacobs

Many things make Brentwood livable and vibrant, including the extraordinary number of public art pieces in walking distance throughout our neighborhood. And even better, our outdoor art has largely been created by YOU!

Over the last five years, you may have provided input on what this community means to you, or you may have wielded a paintbrush to help bring someone else’s vision of Brentwood come to life. Or you may have enjoyed a celebration or two in honor of the public art in our midst: murals and mosaics, whispering walkways and interpretive signs, from Charleswood Drive to the Nose Hill Public Library, and from behind the skateshack to the remnant grassland of Whispering Woods. All Right Here!

Brentwood is about to become one of a growing number of “Jane’s Walk” communities across Canada and internationally. Jane Jacobs was a Toronto urban planner, activist, and author who has inspired residents and planners to think carefully about how people live, work, and play in their built environment; she was all about sustainability and walkable cities.

“Inspired by urban activist Jane Jacobs and her grassroots approach to city-building, the walks help put people in touch with their environment and with each other, bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves.”

Collaborative public projects which develop Walkable Communities are a sure way to get to know your neighbors, and Brentwood will celebrate much of what we’ve done together these last five years with by organizing a Jane’s Walk on the weekend of May 2 & 3, 2009 (details to follow soon).

Here's a link to the website for the walks: www.janeswalk.net. You can subscribe to receive email updates about all the walks, including Calgary’s and Brentwood’s. Details will be posted on that Canadian website soon, and will also be posted on our local website www.natureground.org as well as the next issue of the Bugle.

As it happens, The City of Calgary’s 42nd Annual Pathway & River Clean-Up is also on Sunday, May 3, 2009. So we might just incorporate a bit of gentle pathway clean-up as we artfully amble along our local paths and trails.

“Jacobs’ eye was always at ground level, and she felt strongly that no grand planning scheme could substitute for an understanding of people’s everyday experience of the city. For her, the best way to get to know parks, sidewalks and streets was on foot. As she put it, ‘You’ve got to get out and walk!’”