100 thoughts on “Jeff Speck: The walkable city

  1. Tis a great one.
    Suburban Nation though, I would rate even better (for a professional) as it comes with very nice design strategy guidelines.

  2. Yea…Europe has all the answers including their loss of identity, cultural bankruptcy and failing economic policies. I wish you'd keep your "successes" along with your pompous, arrogant European attitude. Just review the history of Europe and how well lessons were learned…over and over. Most of Europes history is dominated by war…another great European success. Wonderful example that is…not. Lol.

  3. Here, here. The obvious socialist agenda was made pretty clear. If he truly wants to get away from traffic, he should move to the country and telecommuting has probably done more for eliminating traffic and driving than any "walkable" solution. Metros and rails have gone a long way to address this problem however, the vast majority still choose auto. It's that freedom thing that usually stands as an obstacle to these socialist ideas…and our convenience spoiled public.

  4. You obviously don't live in a rural area…these ideals don't promote privacy nor as I see it that "sense of community" which is often not present in rural areas. You watch too much TV….lol.

  5. I agree with lots of what you say. Metros/rails are a financial liability for taxpayers: inefficient and therefore not sustainable. "Convenience spoiled public"? Should people live in caves, sleep on dirt, kill their own food, give up computers, smartphones? What level of convenience would be acceptable and not "spoiled"? Btw, we live in the country on a cistern, raise and kill our own food. We also own computers and drive a car none of which we'll give up anytime soon. It's that freedom thing.

  6. Please note what Elle Guy states below. I moved to SE Petaluma, as I couldn't afford the West side. The stores are not as village like, but at least those shops are all within close proximity of each other. I'd love to see a better bus system over here – once an hour isn't a viable option, but would people would use them? No to further urban sprawl definitely, but yes to giving amenities within the city rather than neighbouring ones a 25min drive away.

  7. 4 ppl in 1 room, wtf. Sounds like your "walkable city" has a residential shortage in need of a fix.
    The time you waste travelling between the suburbs and city, is time you could have spent working and making money. So now that you live in the suburbs you can afford to waste 2 hrs of unpaid commute time everyday? That means your wage is already effectively 80% lower, and all this before you even factor in the costs involved with keeping a car.
    I guess it would have to approach 25% 4 u tho :-/

  8. Banning cars instantly creates suburbs? wut.
    Banning cars from the city is hardly new, plenty of cities have already done it.

  9. The "urban-sprawl" is the result of central planning via forcing citizens to pay for the creation and maintenance of public roads. The latest spurt was part of the housing crisis, which was again caused by central planning, this time by incentivizing unsustainably loose mortgages. Is the solution to this problem really more central planning, or could it be that central planning is the problem itself?

  10. Maybe I missed something but what does he mean by a "walkable" city??? Like… more dense? Less spread out? More footpath's? Or is he talking about some revolutionary new design for a city? I didn't find his talk all that inspiring. Doesn't everyone already know that cars are dangerous and terrible for the environment and that we should change our lifestyles to be more sustainable? We just don't care. If I can drive around the corner in 2 minutes, as opposed to walking there in 10, I'll drive.

  11. This video reminds me of another point. While counter-intuitive, it probably would be better to have hundreds or thousands of people crammed into a city. Perhaps space could be created for all these people by making cities more vertical. This would mean less natural habitats were destroyed and less distance needing to be travelled to get to where you have got to go and therefore, probably, less cars. It's still not perfect of course but it might be better.

  12. Walkable city just means you have the option to walk to most things you need to. If you choose to make that 2 minute drive, he's not saying you should be stopped. Giving people that option itself solves most of the said problems.

  13. not if the high-rise structures were more widely disbursed/distributed, edging or surrounding garden & park acreage. NY's mix of Central Park and the skyscrapers of Times Square are an extreme example, but there are well planned pedestrian cities all over Europe that balance high-density structures with plant life, great walkway, bicycle paths, mass transit integrated with natural wonders.

  14. Yes, I have lived in a rural area. If you live in one of those places where everyone lives miles away from each other, there won't be a sense of community because there isn't one. The comments about the sustainability of urban sprawl compared to such places just makes me laugh. Let's build and maintain 20 miles of road, sewage, and water utilities for three houses. Sustainability at it's finest.

  15. Neilkriesterer, you should look do a little homework into failures of central planning or examples of a lack thereof. Yes we should live in a place where you can build a house, only to have someone come put a factory, parking high rise, seedy bar, or junk yard next to it. Or maybe you like living next to someone who decides their front yard should include 25 broken vehicles. Sound like the best place to live!

  16. So European nations don't develop or use weapons? Hmmm, what stupid response and line of reasoning. You can stow your anti-US rhetoric and progressive liberal war retort which is as usual irrelevant and obviously quite worthless. Although Europe can be applauded for many things, the obvious deficiencies and shortfalls in European plans and execution both culturally and economically are apparent and it isn't a "good" model for the world as it falls into disarray.

  17. I do…thank you very much. I telecommute mostly right now. Though I have tried to use many mass transit conveniences in the city, they are generally not supportive of my requirements due to on-load and offload locations and schedules; and distances make walking and bicycles unrealistic. I applaud his intent but have found his one-size-fits-all options largely not supportive, extremely costly and I do not think these agendas should be forced on the public in terms of use or funding.

  18. grew up in So Cal & Atlanta, went to college in Nashville, after college moved to Orlando. I finally moved to New York City and DC and now in Seoul Korea. NYC, DC, Seoul, I don't have a car, if I need one, I rent a car. I save so much money and don't get headaches sitting in traffic, it's great!

  19. No applause but you obviously know much less about the US than you think…definitely less than your arrogance demonstrates. You initiated the focus on the "new upstart US" not I; and I think you need to keep your comments focused on Europe which you should know more about; but even though you live there you appear to know less than expected. I will agree that our current administration is really stupid in trying to copy such a flawed and broken example such as the European model.

  20. Great…showing off now? Unfortunately, I don't speak what I assume is Spanish…though I suppose it's probably not worth reading anyway presuming it's just more meaningless anti-US rhetoric…

  21. Unfortunately, i've moved from Chicago, lake view neighborhood to be exact, to va beach. my walkable neighborhood improved my quality of life vastly.

  22. I feel like bicycles are severely underrated in the US…. 🙁 (Of course, I can only use mine to go places once I got to college, in an area that actually has sidewalks and where most things are close enough to bicycle to 🙁 )

  23. I walk everywhere these days in a place that was designed for trucks. My grocery walk is 2km there and 2km back with 140lbs of groceries in all weather. Being in Canada with winters on average of -40C and 2 to 4ft of snow in the winters, I look at many people as spoiled rotten and lazy. I'm 31 and have abs and here most of the women are larger than me, because they drive everywhere and usually eat crap. I can out perform the average 16 year old in the U.S. and I smoke a pack a day. The reason why people are unhealthy is because they eat crap and they lose it from not using it. Treat your body like a machine, it will perform like one. 

  24. LED doesn't save energy (when used indoor), because your heating system has to compensate for the heat that regular lightning generated.

  25. Thank you, Jeff, for coming to New Albany, Indiana on 01/16/2014. It was a pleasure listening to you and very informative. I hope you'll pass by our city by the Ohio River someday soon.

  26. Please see, my world solution that solves the economic, social, environmental and ecological systems worldwide; in peace, comprehensively, for each area's life- It's on You Tube called:" To Attain Nelson Mandela Wish, Every Person's Say."  This 'One Recognised Communication System' will make it possible for you and other people message to reach people more effectively and get a response from each area people efficiently.  Rather than wait years while people slowly catch on, after you spend time and effort painfully and needlessly trying to be heard -but first like all things now, we need the $ to make this 'One Recognised Communication System happen properly; a much deeper matter than the explanation. But we all have to be in on it, to develop this ability first.    

  27. The Chinese are spending endless effort of promoting the car ownership among normal citizens, but now it seems to be OK to not own a car in your entire life as you hardly need them. This should alarming every decision ever going to be made by the government as we already have some amazing feature and we are trying to get rid of them.

  28. Creating walkable cities and communities have been touted as the solution to many economic and social problems including obesity, pollution, traffic problems, traffic accidents, etc. And these three are some of the largest problems as well since obesity, pollution, and traffic problems are among the ten most common factors leading to most health problems and deaths. But walkable cities will not solve many problems for good since unintended consequences will arise. Firstly, the more expensive real estate costs, higher rental rates, higher living costs, and higher municipal taxes within cities lead to less disposable income for many residents and income has among the strongest correlations with mortality rates, quality of life, etc. This is perhaps my main argument in advising that the city isn't for everyone. Secondly, people surrender their autonomy by giving up their cars and then become forced to rely upon public transportation which has been shown to be very inefficient over the long run. These public transportation projects are often built using large taxpayer funding and municipal bonds which only depress the growth of city economies in the future after being a short term gain. Thirdly, I question the walkable city and correlation with obesity. It's not necessarily the walkable city curbing obesity but rather that many of the more educated and higher income classes w/ lower obesity rates live in those areas. I am not advocating for return for rural areas and actually love the city. I personally am 25 and plan to be in the cities until my 40s. Suburban areas and personal vehicles are key to better lifestyles, more freedom, and take the best of both rural and urban areas for a good compromise.

  29. The guy have to go to Russia and see catastrophic results of USSR-like city development. The state believed that mass transit is so much better than a car. So here we are. Travelling to work 1 hour instead of 30 minutes like people do in LA. Living in house with 20+ floors in tiny apartments, unable to even afford a separate room for a child.

  30. American pollution as mentioned predominately comes from farming for the meat industry, transportation is much lower in fact.

  31. I agree so much!! My family's car broke down this week so we're left without a car and it's drastically changed our daily lives this week. We literally cannot get around.

  32. TED must stand for "The Elite Diatribe." The New Urbanist model is mostly an attempt to bring European elitist values (that is, liberal, socialist) and universalize them in America. Portland is no nirvana, but you wouldn't know that listening to these guys. But at least Portland has this going for it according to Jeff: It's where the cool kids hang out. We can always improve the livability of our areas, but America provides a greater variety of types of environments in which to live. Are some of them ugly? Yep. But the American approach, for all it's vilified ugliness and sprawl has provided more opportunity for the lower classes through usage of things like the automobile. If you listen to the self-anoinTEDs, they want to tell us that "less is more." Well, for some people "less is a bore." Elites hate it when the masses have general freedom. They want to huddle people in the same health care system, huddle them in the same kind of towns–they're much easier to control that way. This is the United States of America, the supposed capital of freedom. Democracy is messy; freedom is messy. Clean up the excess. As for the rest of the mess, get over it.

  33. bullshit bulshit bulshit no fact snowflake nuts but market place will dictate the future as long as these commi libs dont force us into their nightmare. Old news.

  34. exactly what I thought when I was living in Europe, I wish more people knew about the impact of walkable cities

  35. Jeff Speck, come live through a whole winter in Canada and see how well your ideas hold up. Try freezing your butt off in -35 degree weather.

  36. Ditch the unsustainable economic system and we won't need to do much, Control population over breeding,Severely tax or punish those that have more than 2 to replace mother and father. Then there is less need for creating more jobs or more roads or more houses in the first place!
    Ohh but that's no good for growth and profits now is it? Only works if sheep keep breeding and buying stuff they don't really need, Got to have the latest iphone, Faster car, Bigger house.
    They are not looking at the main cause of all the mess we are in, It's far more grim!
    System itself is flawed, And they are just trying another band aid attempt to fix a bullet wound!

  37. BULLSHIT!!!,,, That "city" would have to be 3 miles in diameter!

    Sustainable? Higher quality of life? How when? NAME ONE!

  38. An area where I live has rentalable bikes, scan the barcode with your phone to unlock it, pay to ride to wherever, then lock it back, and leave it anywhere you want

  39. Here’s a challenge.

    Assuming unlimited funds, propose a city redesign for the following metropolitan areas (here defined as continuous urban/suburban sprawl) to make them more walkable:

    Los Angeles/San Diego
    Chicagoland
    Phoenix/Mesa
    Salt Lake City
    Houston/Galveston
    Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington

  40. I live a 5 minute drive from work. I would walk that distance if I could but it's not walkable at all and the people that do walk around look poor when they are just waling to a grocery store 200 yards from their house.

  41. 16:37 "The Americans can be counted on to do the right thing, once they've exhausted the alternatives"

    lol

  42. Portland is not walkable. Full of 4 lane roads and massive sprawl. It's no more walkable than LA or Houston.

  43. oh jeff, i was married to a soundbite 'environment concerned' architect. all those innovative products? never lasted, terrible problems, premium paid… unfit for purpose

  44. If you would take some responsablity and don't act like asshols anymore, maybe, but only maybe you would not be the most disliked people of the world anymore. Just a tip.

  45. Excellent presentation. Would like to hear him address issues such as nutrient cycling in the urban landscape. Cities being so dense are no different than a CAFO in regards to waste. Such densities turns a resource into something toxic.

  46. He really should have spent more time on the traffic accident deaths! 40,000 people die in the US from car crashes EVERY YEAR! It's INSANE!!!

  47. This guy looks like a communist social engineer.

    Just watched the 1st 5min. I was correct. People like this are genocidal by nature.

  48. I don’t believe many American cities are walkable as long as the automobile takes precedence over pedestrian traffic. People react to cars, not necessarily the other way around. How walkable is a city of you must stop at every block and wait for a car – a big scary intimidating bully – to go before you like you, the pedestrian are a second-class citizen?
    Jane Jacobs said the automobile did more damage to the American landscape than the drug epidemic and corporate greed combined

  49. Speck’s dangerously foolish and shocking naive socialist ideas are failing throughout the world. Speck and his ilk of propagandists care zero about urbanism or reducing traffic and care everything about controlling human beings.

  50. This was the first Ted Talk that ever spoke to me. Here I am, years later, watching this again. Ah, nostalgia…

  51. This was the first Ted Talk that ever spoke to me. Here I am, years later, watching this again. Ah, nostalgia…

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