Essential video for the future: “Jeff Speck Reveals the Secret to Success for Future Cities.”


It’s short and sweet, and covers the bases, so watch the video at Arch Daily:

Jeff Speck Reveals the Secret to Success for Future Cities

Jeff Speck, the city planner and architectural designer best known for advocating smart and sustainable growth, was recently interviewed by MSNBC to discuss the key to success for future cities: walkability. It is no secret that both millennials and the aging population have expressed an overwhelming desire to live in a walkable, urban hub. Though many major cities across the U.S. have embraced this philosophy, some are lagging behind. It is becoming increasingly apparent that a city’s walkability will have a major influence on the city’s competitiveness in the near future.

Watch the interview above to find out the four keys to having a great walkable city.

The two way street campaign isn’t just about streets. It’s about considering what our streets mean in the context of our city’s future, as Jeff Speck clearly explains in the video. It’s about quality of life in urban areas, and economic development stemming from it. It prompts a digression.

It amuses me to hear folks say that my interest in a two way street grid owes entirely to mercantile self-interest.

When Bob “It’s All About Me, Baby” Caesar infamously pronounced that every street in the city can run both ways save for the one lying outside his own store, it was self-interest writ large, because he believes (mistakenly, in my estimation) that he’d have no customers at all without a suburban arterial depositing them at his front door … even if it wreaks havoc everywhere else.

His statement prompted my immediate counter-offer, which still stands today:

Make every street in the city two ways except for the block of Bank between Spring and Elm — where Bank Street Brewhouse stands.

That’s because in a heartbeat, I’d trade my business’s inconvenience for widespread rationality elsewhere downtown.

People like Bob Caesar are so busy gazing backwards in a rose-colored haze, as with their festive Bicentennial mantra of rewriting white-bread history the way it never really happened, that they simply cannot look ahead. Two-way streets are pieces of a puzzle, and must be linked to other pieces. They address the future, using lessons from past experience. City officials who fail to grasp this point are failing the test of leadership, and that’s sad and incredibly annoying.