• clientJane's Walk Toronto
  • categoryPublic Engagement
  • in collaboration withDasami Moodley, Mackenzie Thorne, Jordyn Rowntree

This project explores a new form of public engagement prototyped in partnership with Jane's Walk Toronto called Research Walks. This new form of public engagement takes the traditional Jane's Walk model and incorporates opportunities to gather deeper community insights for targeted key stakeholders.


Research Walks are developed from the key principle of Jane Jacobs that cities should be built and designed by everybody. This principle is further realized by Jane's Walk Theory of Change.


Value Gap
In analyzing the current business model in relation to the Theory of Change,there was identified a significant value gap regarding Jane’s Walk’s story collection and utilization efforts. Currently, some stories are collected as anecdotes shared on their website, newsletters and annual report with no formal process of sharing these stories with city builders. This is important to highlight as these stories are the critical component to achieving the Theory of Change. Without stories, Jane’s Walk is unable to expand knowledge to help city builders design better urban spaces.

Before developing the Research Walk prototype, a set of design criteria was developed to address the crucial elements that needed to be considered in order for it to be successful.

Research Walks first looked at the key stakeholders who would find stories collected from walks valuable and then created value propositions in how they would use such data.

Research Walks work as an iterative form of engagement where the process is constantly being evaluated and measured for improvements in each step.


Scan: Jane's Walk scans and builds a database of potential Research Walk partners.

Outreach: Jane's Walk develops partnerships and shares their community lead approach to public engagement.



Alignment: A Memorandum of Understanding concerning the shared circumstances of the new relationship and how it will contribute to JW's Theory of Change is made

Scoping: Consult with partners to see what questions they want to explore and develop a custom walk while adhering to Jane's Walk Theory of Change.



Train Walk Leaders: Recruit select Walk Leaders who have a relationship with the target community and train them to execute the custom designed walk.

Facilitate and Capture Stories: Walk Leaders facilitate research walks with the help of a Jane's Walk data capturer. Client representatives are also required to attend walks to experience walk stories first hand.



Share Stories: Once Jane's Walk has organized the data, it is shared with the research partner to aid with achieving their research goals.

Community Empowerment: Stories are used for expanding knowledge around the Theory of Change.

Achieve Partner Goals: Fulfill client mandate while adhering to wider Jane's Walk mission.

Achieve Theory of Change: Stories are used by both Jane's Walk and Partners to contribute to the Theory of Change.


Satisfaction Assessment: Jane's Walk follows up with both the research partner and the community to assess the impact the research has made.

Process Evaluation and Reflection: Jane's Walk develops a brief 360 degree report that evaluates the collaboration and determines which aspect of the project needs refinement.


To test and validate how likely city builders, research groups and city officials would sign up to Research Walks, we conducted email campaigns directed to the three separate groups. In each campaign, customer value propositions were translated into "pilate projects" where people could sign up for further information.

The number of people signed up to the number of emails sent out helped give us an understanding which customer segments would most likely sign up to Research Walks

  • clientJane's Walk Toronto
  • categoryPublic Engagement
  • in collaboration withDasami Moodley, Mackenzie Thorne, Jordyn Rowntree