— Sidewalks for all seasons Wind, rain and snow make walking conditions unpleasant and uninviting. The book is split into two parts, with the first part detailing Speck's "General Theory of Walkability." An intellectual revolution is no longer necessary. Third, the choice to live the walkable life generates considerable savings for these households, and much of these savings are spent locally. A General Theory of Walkability I: WHY WALKABILITY? Evidence is mounting that developments and … Jeff Speck’s grandly titled General Theory of Walkability states that a journey on foot should satisfy four main conditions: be useful, safe, comfortable and interesting. If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. Generalists understand that infrastructure organized in service of big trucks is not always inviting to small people. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for … Claim yours: Also: Because Brain Pickings is in its fifteenth year and because I write primarily about ideas of a timeless character, I have decided to plunge into my vast archive every Wednesday and choose from the thousands of essays one worth resurfacing and resavoring. Walkable City was the best-selling city-planning book of 2013 and 2014. Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week's most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children's books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning. That means, walkability is key to economic development. What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability . Most are not expensive — some require little more than yellow paint. But creating those conditions requires attention to a broad range of criteria, some more easily satisfied than others. Gallery. Privacy policy. It turns out that since the late nineties, the share of automobile miles driven by Americans in their twenties has dropped from 20.8 percent to just 13.7 percent. The trees themselves slow cars down. There are fitness experts who argue that walking is the ultimate form of exercise. Think in terms of lots of small streets, all comfortable to walk on, and all leading to the things we need and want to do, such as work, recreation, shopping, dining, education and mass transit stations that allow us to scale greater distances. Subscribe to this free midweek pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit below — it is separate from the standard Sunday digest of new pieces: “I walk everywhere in the city. Insightful and passionately argued, Walkable City comes as a follow-up to the landmark 2010 tome Suburban Nation, which Speck co-authored, and presents a welcome addition to these favorite reads on urbanism. The General Theory of Walkability explains how, to be favored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. And if one looks at teens, future shifts seem likely to be greater. Videos & Interviews; The general theory of walkability: Jeff Speck at TEDxMidAtlantic. Listen to the MP3 Audio: The general theory of walkability by Jeff Speck at TEDxMidAtlantic TRANSCRIPT: One case in point is Oklahoma City, where the mayor hired Speck after Prevention magazine flagged it the worst city for pedestrians in the entire country. 1.Useful: Most aspects of daily life close at hand and well-organized 2.Safe: Streets that are designed to be safe and also feel safe to pedestrians 3.Comfortable: Urban streets as outdoor living rooms What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability, The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story, Essential Life-Learnings from 14 Years of Brain Pickings, Singularity: Marie Howe’s Ode to Stephen Hawking, Our Cosmic Belonging, and the Meaning of Home, in a Stunning Animated Short Film, The Cosmic Miracle of Trees: Astronaut Leland Melvin Reads Pablo Neruda’s Love Letter to Earth’s Forests, How Kepler Invented Science Fiction and Defended His Mother in a Witchcraft Trial While Revolutionizing Our Understanding of the Universe, Emily Dickinson’s Electric Love Letters to Susan Gilbert, Rebecca Solnit’s Lovely Letter to Children About How Books Solace, Empower, and Transform Us, Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives, In Praise of the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times, A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety, The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Your support makes all the difference. Cities have caught on to the value-add concept, too. The General Theory of Walkability This is the week for new TEDx talks. Since the late eighties, I have worked on about seventy­five plans for cities, towns, and villages, new and old. Interesting means that sidewalks are lined by unique buildings with friendly faces and that signs of humanity abound. Winning the city over, however, requires equal parts sensitivity and rigor: The pedestrian is an extremely fragile species, the canary in the coal mine of urban livability. ← The general theory of walkability | Jeff Speck | TEDxMidAtlantic 1 Follower Line Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who, through writing, public service, and built work, advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design. Like? Instructor(s) Course - Instructor - Jeff Speck. City planner Jeff Speck shares his "general theory of walkability" -- four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets. Real estate investors and developers have long been fond of value-add investing; taking an underperforming project and making changes that boost its fortunes. The Walkable City: Jeff Speck at TEDCity2.0. Here is the full transcript of Jeff Speck’s TEDx Talk: The General Theory of Walkability @ TEDxMidAtlantic conference. TED Talk—The General Theory of Walkability: Jeff Speck. While the physical and social rewards of walking are many, walkability is perhaps most useful as it contributes to urban vitality and most meaningful as an indicator of that vitality. Speck dubs it “the general theory of walkability.” It requires creating environmental intimacy. And generalists, finally, are coming to understand that more lanes usually just lead to more traffic. What kind of city will be sustainable for generations to come? A General Theory of Walkability - Walkable communities are the foundation of placemaking and placemaking is the foundation of economic development these days. Urban planners have learned some interesting things, such as that crash statistics show when you double the size of a city block it nearly quadruples the number of fatal accidents on non-highway streets, according to a study conducted in 24 California cities. Though the build-it-and-they-will-come mentality is averse to Speck’s thinking generally, it actually works for cycling. Score one for the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. That book is not needed. That cannot be accomplished with long, wide thoroughfares that leave pedestrians feeling exposed and marginalized. Adding more street-side parking makes retailers happy and adds a layer of protection for sidewalks and the pedestrians who use them, according to Speck. Sign up to receive emails from IREI. .This statistic is particularly meaningful when one considers how the American landscape has changed since the seventies, when most American teens could walk to school, to the store, and to the soccer field, in stark contrast to the realities of today’s autocentric sprawl. Since 2006, I have been spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars each month to keep Brain Pickings going. In Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (public library), city planner Jeff Speck, who spent four years leading the design division of the National Endowment for the Arts working directly with a couple hundred mayors to help solve their greatest city-planning challenges, turns a perceptive eye towards what makes a great city and how we might be able to harness the power of a conceptually simple, practically complex, immeasurably far-reaching solution in improving the fabric and experience of urban life. In 2020, I spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars keeping Brain Pickings going. A great TED Talk by Jeff Speck. Long, naked streets look and feel as though they are heading to oblivion. The general theory of walkability: Jeff Speck at TEDxMidAtlantic. —. Interesting. In this TEDxTalk, the follow up to his popular TED Talk, "The Walkable City," urban planner Jeff Speck delves more deeply into his "General Theory of Walkability." You can also become a spontaneous supporter with a one-time donation in any amount: Partial to Bitcoin? The General Theory of Walkability explains how, to attract pedestrians, a place has to provide a walk that is simultaneously useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Bicycle population is a function of bicycle infrastructure, he says, pointing to how New York City vastly increased the number of cyclists by painting bike lanes a bright green, making them vivid to drivers and easy for cyclists to track. Freedom from cars, freedom from sprawl, freedom to walk your city! Speck redesigned every avenue in the 50-block downtown area by adding medians, trees, doubling the amount of on-street parking, and adding a network of bike paths. It’s simple, painless, requires no equipment and can be done just about anywhere. Walkable Cities by Jeff Speck. Yesterday is was Leigh Gallagher and today it is architect and author Jeff Speck. I have no staff, no interns, not even an assistant — a thoroughly one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. What characterizes the discussion on cities these days is not a wrongheadedness or a lack of awareness about what needs to be done, but rather a complete disconnect between that awareness and the actions of those responsible for the physical form of our communities. Every glory,” Maira Kalman observed in considering the creative capacity of walking. The ensuing “walkability study” found the city’s streets had far more capacity (10,000 cars per day) than the number they were actually handling (3,000 to 7,000). For nearly fifteen years, it has remained free and ad-free and alive thanks to patronage from readers. You can beam some bit-love my way: 197usDS6AsL9wDKxtGM6xaWjmR5ejgqem7. Need to cancel a recurring donation? He defines a walkable city as one where “the car is an optional instrument of freedom rather than a prosthetic device.” Speck states that people will choose to walk over drive if they are given a walk that is as good … Jeff Speck. What kind of city will keep our citizens not just safe, but healthy? Line streets with trees and drivers naturally go slower and reduce traffic accidents. The Theory of Walkability Useful Safe Comfortable . City planner Jeff Speck shares his "general theory of walkability" -- four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets. The G eneral Theory of W alkability explains how, to be fa- vored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be use- ful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Drawing on his experience first as head of town planning for DPZ, then as director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts, and most recently as an independent planning consultant, Speck set forth a “General Theory of Walkability” and instructed municipalities on how to attain a high-quality built environment. Portland, Ore., often hailed as a supremely walkable city, slammed the brakes on that dynamic when it instituted a Skinny Streets program in residential neighborhoods, making them safer for drivers and more amenable to pedestrians. Instructors Title Widget Full Width. General Theory of Walkability: Jeff Speck asserts "To be favored [over driving] a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting." Each one individually makes a difference; collectively, they can transform a city and the lives of its residents. In order for someone to walk, the walk must be: Factors Affecting Walkability •Restrict and restrain the car •Create mixed use neighbourhoods •Manage parking effectively •Support public transport The Useful Walk Glossary, videos, podcasts, research in the Resource Center. Every fashion. Ultimately, a walkable city isn’t merely an economically and environmentally healthy city — it’s also a relentlessly alluring city, the kind in which you can “create a sparkle of the highest power”: Walkability is both an end and a means, as well as a measure. a general theory of walkability As a city planner, I make plans for new places and I make plans for making old places better. 1 of 14. His book, Walkable City, is another essential read for those working to make their places better. TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript: Freedom from cars, freedom from sprawl, freedom to walk your city! He writes: These fixes simply give pedestrians a fighting chance, while also embracing bikes, enhancing transit, and making downtown living attractive to a broader range of people. — Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient. We’ve known for three decades how to make livable cities — after forgetting for four — yet we’ve somehow not been able to pull it off. The General Theory of Walkability: Jeff Speck @ TEDx MidAtlantic. Alas, in the typical American city most people own cars and the temptation to drive is constant, mostly for lack of meaningful destinations within walking distance. I was recently in London, curating a session on the future of cities at the 2012 Wired conference, where one of my speakers, the wonderful and witty Alissa Walker, made a case for walkable cities and walked the point home brilliantly: Speck goes on to outline a “General Theory of Walkability,” focusing on the four key factors of making a city attractive to pedestrians: The General Theory of Walkability explains how, to be favored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Go here. Portland has something else going for it: short pedestrian-friendly 200-foot blocks that walkers find easier to navigate. It’s simple, painless, requires no equipment and can be done just about anywhere. Poor snow clearance, pooling water, mud and ice are significant impediments to walking. Generalists understand that consolidating parks means that fewer people can walk to them. I have no staff, no interns, not even an assistant — a thoroughly one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. May 26th, 2014 Jeff Speck at TEDxMidAtlantic. What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability “City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.” Article by Amanda Irvin Walkability also promotes physical activity and health (see Good urban form promotes walkability and physical health ). Every emotion. Lead somewhere meaningful or desirable. Sensible neighborhood redevelopment, improved mass transit, increased pedestrian mobility, and bicycle infrastructure are all part of the walkability formulation. Contrast that with the notoriously pedestrian-unfriendly Salt Lake City where each block stretches 600 feet. First, for certain segments of the population, chief among them young ‘creatives,’ urban living is simply more appealing; many wouldn’t be caught dead anywhere else. Any city. This episode dives into Jeff Speck’s General Theory of Walkability. You’ll receive updates on upcoming events, special Second, massive demographic shifts occurring right now mean that these pro-urban segments of the population are becoming dominant, crating a spike in demand that is expected to last for decades. People drive faster on wider streets, sensing they have been given the girth they need to apply the pent-up muscle under the hood. Jeff Speck, AICP, CNU-A, LEED-AP, Honorary ASLA In his The General Theory of Walkability, urban designer and city planner Jeff Speck claims that walkable cities can create a more resilient economy, a healthier community, and a cleaner environment. Similarly, there are urban planning and real estate development experts who argue that “walkability” is the ultimate indicator of the success of a real estate project or community. Most significantly, generalists — such as planners and, one hopes, mayors — ask the big-picture questions that are so often forgotten among the day-to-day shuffle of city governance. The lesson: Break a city into smaller component parts and people find them more manageable — even inviting. There are fitness experts who argue that walking is the ultimate form of exercise. Mike Consol (m.consol@irei.com) is editor of Real Assets Adviser. Here's an example. (from the chapter "A General Theory of Walkability" in the book Walkable City by Jeff Speck) You see everything you need to see for a lifetime. publication offers and more. By clicking on “I accept”, you consent to our Privacy Policy. Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who, through writing, public service, and built work, advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design. What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability “City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.” Article by Quinn Raymond Literary Productivity, Visualized, 7 Life-Learnings from 7 Years of Brain Pickings, Illustrated, Anaïs Nin on Love, Hand-Lettered by Debbie Millman, Anaïs Nin on Real Love, Illustrated by Debbie Millman, Susan Sontag on Love: Illustrated Diary Excerpts, Susan Sontag on Art: Illustrated Diary Excerpts, Albert Camus on Happiness and Love, Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton, The Silent Music of the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks, came up with their best ideas while walking. Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer and is the author of Walkable City.. The number of nineteen-year-olds who have opted out of earning driver’s licenses has almost tripled since the late seventies, from 8 percent to 23 percent. As far as wealth is concerned, walkability is proving to be a monumental economic draw: The economic advantage that has already begun to accrue to walkable places can be attributed to three key factors. The Christian Science Monitor called his recent book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, “timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work.” More Jeff Speck: How do we solve the problem of the suburbs? Safe means that the street has been designed to give pedestrians a fighting chance against being hit by automobiles; they must not only be safe but feel safe, which is even tougher to satisfy. Curated by: Max Allen. Under the right conditions, this creature thrives and multiplies. 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Jane Jacobs, who wrote in 1960, won over the planners by 1980. Similarly, there are urban planning and real estate development experts who argue that “walkability” is the ultimate indicator of the success of a real estate project or community. The author’s deep understanding of the topic at hand thus becomes clear early on, and by the time the book launches into its meatiest section—a detailed breakdown of the Ten Steps of Walkability—the author-reader bond is already established. Evidence is mounting that developments and communities that make it inviting for people to walk and offer them a real and perceived sense of destination maximize their opportunity for success. If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. Every condition. Nov 21, 2012 - “City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.” Useful means that most aspects of daily life are located close at hand and organized in a way that walking serves them well. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to personalize your user experience on our site and perform site analytics. In the absence of any larger vision or mandate, city engineers — worshipping the twin gods of Smooth Traffic and Ample Parking — have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at. Comfortable means that buildings and landscape shape urban streets into ‘outdoor living rooms,’ in contrast to wide-open spaces, which usually fail to attract pedestrians. Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who, through writing, lectures, and built work, advocates internationally for more walkable cities. Even automotive cities such as Long Beach, Calif., have seen significant upticks in cyclist volume when bicycle infrastructure was put in place, improved or expanded. Video - 2 - Walkable City. The General Theory of Walkability . Since the late eighties, I have … These three issues — wealth, health, and sustainability — are, not coincidentally, the three principal arguments for making our cities more walkable. This is not the next great book on American cities. A GENERAL THEORY OF WALKABILITY As a city planner, I make plans for new places and I make plans for making old places better. This discussion is necessary because, since midcentury, whether intentionally or by accident, most American cities have effectively become no-walking ones. Walking, the Urban Advantage Why Johnny Can’t Walk The Wrong Color Green II: THE TEN STEPS OF WALKABILITY The Useful Walk Step 1: Put Cars in Their Place Step 2: Mix the Uses Step 3: Get the Parking Right Step 4: Let Transit Work The Safe Walk Step 5: Protect the Pedestrian Step 6: Welcome Bikes Your support makes all the difference. Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. He also talks of the bicycling “revolution” under way in some American cities. It has remained free and ad-free and alive thanks to patronage from readers. The General Theory of Walkability explains how, to attract pedestrians, a place has to provide a walk that is simultaneously useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo, too, came up with their best ideas while walking. Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient. But the planners have yet to win over the city. He argues that, more than a utopian notion, the walkable city is a practical solution to a number of problems that affect both our daily lives as individuals and our economic, environmental, and cultural health as a society. Questions like: What kind of city will help us thrive economically? Friendly faces and that signs of humanity abound environmental intimacy ; taking an underperforming project and changes. On about seventy­five plans for general theory of walkability, towns, and villages, new and old to traffic. Trees and drivers naturally go slower and reduce traffic accidents donation in any amount: Partial to?... Are not expensive — some require little more than yellow paint sprawl, freedom from sprawl, freedom sprawl. 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