The Walkable City
In this important new book, influential planner Jeff Speck lays out a General Theory of Walkability, which holds that “to be favored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting.” He emphasizes that each of the four conditions is essential; none alone is sufficient. Philip Langdon, in his review for Better! Cities & Towns, reports that Speck does a thorough job of explaining how those conditions are created and maintained—and he documents the growing desire of Americans, especially those in the “creative class,” for what Christopher Leinberger has termed “walkable urbanism.” Walkable City’s power comes from its well-honed sentences and passionately argued ideas. Its text-only format is a big departure from most new urbanist books, which abound with photos, maps, charts, and other illustrations—frequently in full color and often quite useful. For planners, designers, and other professionals, the approach may feel austere. But it’s probably a good choice for reaching its target audience—bright general readers, who can find plenty of visual materials elsewhere, once Walkable City excites their interest.
For more in-depth coverage:
• Subscribe to Better! Cities & Towns to read all of the articles (print+online) on implementation of greener, stronger, cities and towns.
• Get the October-November 2012 issue. Topics: Guiding investment to urban centers, Florida next gen project with streetcar, Town centers, Upstate NY downtowns, Transformation of a small town, New Moscow district, Community engagement, Walkable City, Human Transit, Freeways Without Futures, Beruit
• Get New Urbanism: Best Practices Guide, packed with more than 800 informative photos, plans, tables, and other illustrations, this book is the best single guide to implementing better cities and towns.