Monday, February 27, 2017
Book 3: Walkable City
AUTHOR: Jeff Speck
STARTED: January 7, 2017
FINISHED: February 19, 2017
FIRST SENTENCE: This is not the next great book on American cities.
SUMMARY: [From BN] 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 new 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. 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.
THOUGHTS: I very much liked everything this book had to say. As a non-driver, I am all about walking everywhere I can. In this book, Jeff Speck very clearly lays out how walkable cities are better for our culture and economy. He speaks to every level of impact from transportation to culture to shopping and more. He organizes his chapters by type and then breaks down each type point by point. This was a very simple and effective way to make his point, but it also lead the book to feel like a collection of blog posts. I think the best thing about Speck's argument is that he uses truly life examples to showcase his points. (I'm a bit biased here because many examples come for DC and I think our city is very walkable.)
RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]