UPDATE: It’s all systems go for first-ever #JoziWalks event


A Joburg first Jane Jacobs-inspired community-wide walking event aims to put people in touch with their environment and with the people who live in their community.

The event will be launched under the auspices of the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) on 24 June.

The first-ever such walk was held in May 2007 in Toronto, Canada as a tribute to the American-Canadian journalist, author and activist, Jane Jacobs, best known for her quest to understand what really makes a city.

Read: Walk through Joburg, together

The agency has committed funding towards supporting a series of walks in order to explore and engage Joburg places, spaces and communities and in turn connect neighbours.

Dubbed #JoziWalks, the inaugural event will feature a number of local community activists, tourism entrepreneurs and walking tour operators. It will also feature the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation with its core activities of tours, research, education, conservation and activism. The foundation aims to protect the rich and varied heritage of Johannesburg and its associated social history for the use and enjoyment of both current and future generations.

DRAWING BOARD: Executive manager for planning and strategy at JDA, Douglas Cohen, discusses plans during a briefing, to host the first-ever #JoziWalks event in June. Photo: Tshepiso Mametela

“Over the space of two days between 24 and 25 June, thirteen walking tours will kick-off across Joburg in the suburbs of Brixton, Fietas, Newtown, Hillbrow, Sophiatown, Diepsloot, Orchards, Orange Grove, La Rochelle, Noordgesig, Orlando East, Yeoville and Alexandra,” explained Douglas Cohen, executive manager for planning and strategy at the JDA.

“The aim of #JoziWalks is to give a voice to the people who live in the city’s communities and present a personal take on the culture, social history and development of the city’s different neighbourhoods. The walks also aim to get more Joburgers out of their cars and onto the streets to walk, and to engage with their neighbours and share insights and ideas about their neighbourhoods.”

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Speaking on the logistics of the walks, Cohen said,”The walks will start and end in a safe space where participants can gather together. The plan is to have the walks span a minimum of one hour and a maximum of three hours, with provision for water and a healthy snack for 30 participants in each walk.”

He added that the necessary security measures will be taken on the day. “Security personnel will be deployed to ensure the safety of all participants during the walk and all the necessary arrangements will be made to ensure all safety requirements are adhered to.”

Details: Detailed descriptions of every walk can be found on the Walk My Jozi Facebook page where notices about booking availability will also be posted.

Tshepiso Mametela

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