Sunday, July 14, 2024
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NYC tours celebrate ‘gayborhood’ defender Jane Jacobs

The urban studies activist who argued that New York’s West Village was the ideal neighborhood, is the inspiration behind new tours.

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) announced that Jane’s Walk NYC, a festival celebrating urban life, will be held over seven days beginning May 3, 2021. Although guided, in-person group walks will remain suspended this year, Jane’s Walk NYC is back in a new format that will offer live and on-demand activities, with new ways to explore, share stories about the city, and connect with fellow New Yorkers. 

“At MAS, Jane’s Walk has always heralded the start of spring, a weekend of celebration and exploration that brings us closer to our city after a season spent hunkered down indoors from the cold,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, President of MAS. “This year, as with last, our lives look a bit different and so too does our festival—but the spirit and energy of Jane’s Walk is as strong as ever. We are delighted to offer nearly 200 “walks” this year, many of which take us further afield than our guided in-person walks ever could.”  

Jacobs (left) organized efforts to protect neighborhoods from gentrification and urban renewal, in particular, plans to overhaul her own Greenwich Village neighborhood. 

From self-guided strolls to Zoom talks to social media activations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy across the five boroughs. Live events are now online and accepting RSVPs. Highlights include the following: 

Jane Jacobs helped save Washington Square Park in NYC from being turned into a freeway

On-demand events can be enjoyed throughout the week of May 3. These offerings will not be posted until the festival begins, but will include scavenger hunts, self-guided audio tours, and virtual walks that let you crisscross the five boroughs, venture into far-off corners of the city, and even visit other Jane’s Walk celebrations around the world. MAS and Urban Archive will once again join together to offer a special collection of virtual Jane’s Walk stories that explore historic photos of NYC. 

For more information, visit


The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) lifts up the voices of the people in the debates that shape New York’s built environment and leads the way toward a more livable city from sidewalk to skyline. MAS envisions a future in which all New Yorkers share in the richness of city life—where growth is balanced, character endures, and a resilient future is secured. Over more than 125 years of history, our advocacy efforts have led to the creation of the New York City Planning Commission, Public Design Commission, Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Tribute in Light; the preservation of Grand Central Terminal, the lights of Times Square, and the Garment District; the conservation of more than 50 works of public art; and the founding of such civic organizations as the Public Art Fund, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, P.S. 1, the Historic Districts Council, the Park Avenue Armory Conservancy, and the Waterfront Alliance.

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