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WALKABLE CITY: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time Paperback – November 12, 2013
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“A delightful, insightful, irreverent work.” ―The Christian Science Monitor
“If Jane Jacobs invented a new urbanism, Walkable City is its perfect complement, a commonsense twenty-first-century user's manual.” ―Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360 and author of True Believers
“A recipe for vibrant street life.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Refreshing, lively and engaging . . . Walkable City isn't a harangue, it's a fun, readable and persuasive call to arms.” ―Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
“Everyone interested in improving the quality of city life should read this book and heed its lessons.” ―John Strawn, The Sunday Oregonian
“Among the perennial flood of books on urban design in all its forms, this one stands out.” ―John King, San Francisco Chronicle
“Walkable City is an energetic, feisty book, one that never contents itself with polite generalities. Sometimes breezy and anecdotal yet always logical and amply researched, this is one of the best books to appear this year. Speck deserves the widest possible readership.” ―Philip Langdon, Better! Cities & Towns
“Walkable City . . . will change the way you see cities.” ―Kaid Benfield, The Atlantic Cities
“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
“Jeff Speck's brilliant and entertaining book reminds us that, in America, the exception could easily become the rule. Mayors, planners, and citizens need look no further for a powerful and achievable vision of how to make our ordinary cities great again.” ―Joseph P. Riley, mayor of Charleston, S.C.
“Cities are the future of the human race, and Jeff Speck knows how to make them work. In Walkable City, he persuasively explains how to create rational urban spaces and improve quality of life by containing the number one vector of global environmental catastrophe: the automobile.” ―David Owen, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Green Metropolis
“Companionable and disarmingly candid, Jeff Speck perches on your shoulder and gets you to see your community with fresh eyes. He gradually builds a compelling case for walkability as the essential distillation of a vast trove of knowledge about urbanism and placemaking. The case he makes has you both nodding at the intuitive and seemingly obvious wisdom presented, and shaking your head at why those basic principles of fixing our cities have eluded us for so long.” ―Harriet Tregoning, founder of the National Smart Growth Network
“Jeff Speck understands a key fact about great cities, which is that their streets matter more than their buildings. And he understands a key fact about great streets, which is that the people who walk along them matter more than the cars that drive through them. Walkable City is an eloquent ode to the livable city and to the values behind it.” ―Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic and author of Why Architecture Matters
“With Walkable City, Jeff Speck demonstrates why he is among the most relevant and engaging writers on urban design today.” ―Ron Bogle, president and CEO of the American Architectural Foundation
“When I speak around the country, people ask me what is the first thing they should do to start their community on the path of smart growth. I will now say: Read Jeff Speck's Walkable City.” ―Parris Glendening, governor of Maryland (1995–2003) and president of Smart Growth America's Leadership Institute
“Truly a book that is so very needed, Walkable City moves theory into action. We now know we need to build walkable urban places for all sorts of economic, social, and environmental reasons. Jeff Speck shows how to do it in the same clear style we came to love in the classic Suburban Nation.” ―Christopher B. Leinberger, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of The Option of Urbanism
About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.8 ounces
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0865477728
- ISBN-13 : 978-0865477728
- Dimensions : 5.63 x 0.84 x 8.27 inches
- Publisher : North Point Press; Reprint edition (November 12, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #26,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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A relatively short but insightful book written by an experienced architect, The Walkable City lays out an evidence based case for having a walkable and bikeable downtown area that is illustrated throughout with explanations of case studies and anecdotal examples. Everything is fully explained (both a basic 'this is what _____ means' as well as 'these are the implications of ____'), which - having no knowledge of civil engineering or city planning - I very much appreciated. But, what I think really makes the book (especially as a learning tool for a general audience) is the inclusion of Speck's dry and admittedly sarcastic humor. I found it hilarious and a good counterbalance to heavier topics (such as dry jokes about traffic engineers during a section on pedestrian deaths due to traffic behavior as a result road construction). Overall, I am very pleased to have stumbled across The Walkable City and it is a book that I would be happy to reccomend.
1. THe author doesn't just focus on sidwalks and walkways but he also focuses on how other physical elements, like buses, railways, and even trees can compliment or enhance walkways. So while the book is called walkable city it also gives invaluable insight into other elements.
2. Jeff Speck does a great job of blending, analogies, stories, statistic, studies, and facts into one book. Often times you see authors struggle to find that balance, or they have a book that is composed of 70% analogies and 30% facts, or like 90% opinion with like 10% facts. Or a boring textbook like book where it's 95% facts and 5% other stuff. But Jeff Speck does a good job of balancing all these elements out leading to a dynamic and fun book.
3. The book is written to where even if you're not a city planner you can understand it. I came into the book having virtually no understand of planning whatsoever in regards to sidewalks and roads. However, I was still able to understand 90% of the content (there was one chapter where I was lost) and learn a lot from it.
1. It would be that one chapter I mentioned above...it was near the end of the book and short though so it's no biggie...but still it was a hard read.
After reading Speck's book, I now see my own lovely city and the many thousands that I've visited here and abroad over my life in a completely new light. This book gives me a context within which to understand why certain cities attract me and others do not. It is as if I now have a language to clearly understand cities for the first time. Honestly, you know how good it feels when you get eyeglasses for the first time and see what the world really looks like? Well, that's what this book did for me. I now see cities in a whole new light.
I only wish at this book could be read by my mayor, all my city councilmen, all the citizens on our planning commission, and all the citizens in my community that have the power to vote on our city's major land use initiatives.
This book is getting almost consistent five-star ratings. I can do little more than join in and whole-heartedly agree.