City Walks: Discover Charlotte’s neighborhood stories

What's a City Walk?

City Walks are public walking or biking tours throughout May that highlight the city’s neighborhoods. They’re intended to inspire people to get better acquainted with their own neighborhoods, to learn about parts of the city they don’t know well, and to connect with others living in Charlotte.

The walks are free and open to all. A few walks have limits on how many can participate due to space constraints. Registration is requested so participants can be contacted if the walk is canceled due to weather or other unexpected reasons.

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, organizes City Walks with assistance from the Foundation For the Carolinas, and local partnerships.

Last year, residents learned about:

  • McCrorey Heights and the campus of nearby Johnson C. Smith University, where many of the leaders of the Charlotte civil rights movement lived – and where a home was firebombed.
  • Small businesses – restaurants, bakeries and shops – created and run by immigrant entrepreneurs along Central Avenue, South Boulevard and Sharon Amity Road.
  • The South End’s Rail Trail, a vibrant, public trail through the heart of South End and uptown.

This year’s walks will be added soon, so check back often to view the list of walks and to register! You can also follow City Walks Charlotte on Facebook to see when walks are added.

Want to organize a walk?

Wish to organize a walk yourself? Anyone can volunteer to lead a City Walk. You don’t have to be a historian or a professor or a professional organizer. The idea is to encourage neighborhood residents to get engaged in organizing walks for their neighbors and others. 

Leading a walk is a great way to share the unique things about your neighborhood with others. Walks can focus on any aspect of your neighborhood that might be interesting including food, history, art, culture, planning, development, etc.

Contact us to register your walk or for assistance. We can help with planning, research, walk registration and publicity, or give you an experienced walk “mentor” to work with you.

Here’s a quick primer, courtesy of the JanesWalk.org group:

Contact us:

 

Is this just a Charlotte thing?

Activist Jane Jacobs celebrated the power of everyday people to shape their city.

City Walks are part of a global celebration – known in many cities as Jane Jacobs Walks or Jane’s Walks – of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs, a famous neighborhood champion who lived in New York and Toronto.

Born May 4, 1916, Jane Jacobs was a writer, activist and urban thinker who championed a community-based approach, based on what she observed in her neighborhood, Greenwich Village. She saw cities as ecosystems with their own logic and dynamism. She encouraged residents to get engaged and to explore where they lived, worked and played.

Scorned at the time – the 1960s – by many professional planners, architects and city officials, Jacobs’ books and ideas are now routinely taught in planning and architecture schools.

The walks take place around the world during the first weekend in May, to honor her birthday, but in Charlotte they take place throughout May.