Synopses & Reviews
A Best Book of the Year according to Planetizen and the American Society of Landscape Architects
Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive, and he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability.
The very idea of a modern metropolis evokes visions of bustling sidewalks, vital mass transit, and a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban core. But in the typical American city, the car is still king and downtown is a place that's easy to drive to but often not worth arriving at.
Making walkability happen is relatively easy and cheap; seeing exactly what needs to be done is the trick. In this essential book, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can all make the right choices for our communities.
“Insightful and passionately argued” (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings), bursting with sharp observations and real-world examples, giving key insight into what urban planners actually do and how places can and do change, Walkable City lays out a practical, necessary, and eminently achievable vision of how to make our normal American cities great again.
“Timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work....Should be required reading.” The Christian Science Monitor
“Refreshing, lively, and engaging....A fun, readable and persuasive call to arms.” The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
“Jeff Speck, AICP, is one of the few practitioners and writers in the field who can make a 312-page book on a basic planning concept seem too short....For getting planning ideas into the thinking and the daily life of U.S. cities, this is the book.” Planning magazine
About the Author
Jeff Speck, coauthor of the landmark bestseller Suburban Nation, is a city planner who advocates for smart growth and sustainable design. As the former director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, he oversaw the Mayors Institute on City Design, where he worked with dozens of American mayors on their most pressing city planning challenges. He leads a design practice based in Washington, D.C.