FOR the first time Jane’s Walk is coming to Maylands.
The international event takes place May 4, celebrating the legacy of urban activist Jane Jacobs who died in 2006.
Jacobs pioneered a grassroots movement to protect Greenwich Village’s old neighbourhoods from so-called “slum clearance” where old blocks were to be razed for upscale apartment blocks. She was strongly pro-pedestrian and fought car-centric planning of US cities.
Jane’s Walks have been held around the world every year since her death: People chat about local culture, history and planning issues.
“[We’ll] attempt to answer the question, in a very small way of what makes Maylands the unique place that it is today,” organiser Tina Askam says of the upcoming inaugural local event.
Along with culture, local history and architecture participants will discuss Jacobs’ ideas about diversity, walkability, mixed use suburbs and reusing old buildings.
“[Jacobs’] idea was that it’s the people in the city who create the city and the life there, it creates itself so we don’t need to be imposing these plans on top.”
Ms Askam, a PhD candidate in spacial justice at ECU, says Maylands was created to house factory workers who built the pipes for CY O’Connor’s Goldfields water supply scheme.
Up till the 1980s the suburb had a grungy reputation. Today, it’s known as a creative hub with fashion shops, cafes and art galleries.
“There’s a lot of creativity and a lot of community and positivity in the suburb,” Ms Askam says.
“I’ve spoken to people who’ve moved from Fremantle to Maylands because they can’t afford Fremantle anymore.”
The What Makes Maylands walk starts at Albany Bell Castle, corner of Thirlmere and Guildford Roads at 2pm on May 4. It’s free and all are welcome.
by DAVID BELL