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Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

Jeff Speck

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Product Details
Format:
Hardback
ISBN:
9780374285814
Published:
03 Dec 2012
Publisher:
Macmillan
Dimensions:
288 pages - 210 x 140mm

Jeff Speck has spent his career determining what makes a city work, and he has boiled it down to one essential factor: walkability. For urban life to thrive, cities must prioritize pedestrians over cars. Six-lane highways tearing through downtown must give way to crossable streets, massive parking lots must give way to pedestrian plazas, architecture designed to be appreciated from afar must give way to welcoming buildings. Making all of this happen is relatively easy and cheap; seeing what needs to be done is the trick. Speck can show us the invisible workings underneath the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can make the right decisions for our cities.

Cities have been recognized as the key to sustainable living. But New York, San Francisco, Chicago, D.C.—these are not the next great American cities, and they are not where the future of urban life will be formed. Most Americans live in midsize cities—Lowell, Massachusetts; Tacoma, Washington; Grand Rapids, Michigan—that need downtowns that are vibrant and appealing; they need to feel like the urban hubs that they are. They need walkability.

Bursting with sharp observations and real-world examples, giving key insight to what urban planners actually do and how cities can and do change, Walkable City lays out a practical, necessary, and eminently achievable vision of how to make our American cities work.

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.

From one of the leading voices and practitioners of modern urban planning, a practical and inspiring vision of the future of the American city

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