Since it was published in 2012, Jeff Speck’s book Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time has become one of the most popular titles in urban planning. Speck’s blunt assessment of the state of the planning profession and 10 steps for improving street design have influenced the last decade of efforts to improve safety and livability across US cities. The book’s 10th anniversary edition is now being released. This week, CityLab is sharing three excerpts from Speck’s new text; previous excerpts are here and here.
In October 2017, I was invited to give a lecture at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters. Staff there had read my books and were curious what I might have to say about the intersection of ride-hailing and the walkable city. I think they expected some good news. Certainly, their company’s stated objective of ending private car ownership was well in keeping with my vision of less car-dependent communities. I did my best to put together an objective talk.