Jeff Speck is an American city planner, writer, and lecturer who is the principal at the urban design and consultancy firm, Speck Dempsey. He has authored or co-authored several books on urban planning, including his 2012 book, Walkable City: How Downtown Saves America, One Step at a Time. He is an advocate for New Urbanism and more "walkable" cities and has given TED Talks on the subjects.

Jeff Speck
Alma mater
WorksSuburban Nation
The Smart Growth Manual
Walkable City

Early life and education edit

Speck grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts. He earned a BA from Williams College, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1985.[1][2] After graduating from Williams, Speck would go on to attend Syracuse University, where he earned an MFA in art history. He then attended Harvard University, earning a Master of Architecture.[2]

Career edit

Speck began his urban design career at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (now DPZ CoDesign) where, over the course of 10 years, he became the Director of Town Planning.[3][4] While at DPZ, Speck co-authored (with Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk) a book entitled, Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.[5] Published in 2000, the book details the effects of urban sprawl on cities and offers a plan for improved urban redevelopment.[6][7]

From 2003 to 2007, Speck was the Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).[8][9] While there, he oversaw the Mayors' Institute on City Design and created the Governors' Institute on Community Design. After leaving the NEA, Speck started his own urban design consultancy firm, Speck & Associates, which was originally based in Washington, D.C.[10] As part of the business, Speck has created master plans and waterfront plans for a variety of cities including, Lowell, Massachusetts; Memphis, Tennessee; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Tampa, Florida.[11][12] In 2008, Speck completed construction on his family's house in Washington, D.C. The three-story building sits on a flatiron lot and measures about 500 square feet per floor. It was profiled in The Washington Post Magazine soon after its completion.[13]

In 2009, Speck co-authored The Smart Growth Manual with Andrés Duany and Mike Lydon. The book offers a wide variety of New Urbanist planning principles and techniques.[14] In 2012, Speck released his book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.[15] The book is split into two parts, with the first part detailing Speck's "General Theory of Walkability." The second part provides Speck's ten-step process toward attaining walkability in cities.[16][17] Walkable City was the best-selling city-planning book of 2013 and 2014.[3] Speck gave two TED Talks on the subject in 2013[18][19] and has given numerous lectures on the topic since.[3][20]

In 2015, Speck's firm was hired by businessman, Jeff Vinik, to design and plan the $1-billion redevelopment of downtown Tampa.[10][12] By that time, Speck had also relocated his family and business (Speck & Associates) to Brookline, Massachusetts.[18][11]

Bibliography edit

Year Title Original publisher ISBN Notes
2000 Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream North Point Press ISBN 9780865477506 Co-authored with Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
2009 The Smart Growth Manual McGraw-Hill Education ISBN 9780071376754 Co-authored with Andrés Duany and Mike Lydon
2012 Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time Farrar, Straus and Giroux ISBN 9780865477728 Best-selling city-planning book of 2013 and 2014.[3]
2018 Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places Island Press ISBN 9781610918985

References edit

  1. ^ "Jeff Speck, Class of 1985". Williams College. September 17, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Alice Ostino, Jeff Speck". The New York Times. April 9, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Our future depends on walkable communities". The News-Press. October 9, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Green, Jared (2012). "Interview with Jeff Speck, Hon. ASLA". American Society of Landscape Architects. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  5. ^ Steuteville, Robert (January 1, 2000). "Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company announces coming books". Public Square. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  6. ^ Schmitt, Angie (December 19, 2012). "Author Jeff Speck on Walkability and the One Mistake That Can Wreck a City". Streets Blog. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Ulin, David L. (December 7, 2012). "Jeff Speck's 'Walkable City' a recipe for vibrant street life". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Popova, Maria (November 15, 2012). "The Pedestrian Is a Fragile Species". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  9. ^ "Jeff Speck, AICP, CNU-A, LEED-AP, Honorary ASLA". Harvard University. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Thalji, Jamal (March 17, 2005). "Jeff Vinik hires urban planners to start designing $1 billion downtown Tampa project". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Hendrickson, Dyke (June 5, 2017). "Waterfront West meeting set for tonight". The Daily News of Newburyport. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Dawson, Anastasia (June 29, 2015). "Vinik's planner, Jeff Speck, has vision for walkable Tampa". The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  13. ^ Hales, Linda (September 21, 2008). "Meet one of the most unique homes in Washington D.C." The Washington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  14. ^ Gruber, Frank (March 18, 2010). "Half a Bridge: A Review of The Smart Growth Manual by Andres Duany and Jeff Speck with Mike Lydon". HuffPost. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  15. ^ Williams, Monica (December 13, 2012). "How American Cities Can Thrive Again". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  16. ^ Horan, Richard (November 19, 2012). "Walkable City". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  17. ^ Moyer, Justin (February 22, 2013). "'Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time' by Jeff Speck". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Hallett, Vicky (September 26, 2014). "House hunting with Jeff Speck, urbanist and author of 'Walkable City'". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  19. ^ Spendlove, Tom (February 18, 2017). "Designing and Building a More Walkable City". Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  20. ^ "Get to know your CivicCon speakers". Pensacola News Journal. September 22, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2014.