CM 018: Jeff Speck on Designing Cities that Fuel Innovation

Blog Post - Jeff Speck (1)Why do most people want to live in walkable cities and towns? How can places like these influence our well-being and impact the spread of innovation? 

Jeff Speck, city planner, urban designer, TED Talk speaker, and bestselling author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, offers fascinating and fact-filled responses to these questions. Along the way, he tells us the changes needed to make cities the thriving places that most people want.

In this episode you will learn:

  • what is a walkable city
  • how walkable cities drive innovation by attracting talent
  • what makes cities safer than suburbs
  • how more traffic signals actually make cities less safe
  • why the most popular solutions to congestion actually increase it
  • what the cheapest solution is for making a city more walkable
  • how great urban design trumps weather every time

Jeff also shares a fascinating insight regarding a possible downside of self-driving cars.

Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast


The Walkable City TED Talk by Jeff Speck




Millenials Seek Walkable Cities

Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam

Single Family Housing

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett

Induced demand and traffic

Free Good

Donald Shoup

Prospect-refuge Theory and Jay Appleton

Charrettes for Design

Andres Duany

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

Inclusionary zoning

Granny flats

Wyandanch, New York

Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck


Jarrett Walker – Human Transit

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