4 ways to make a city more walkable | Jeff Speck

So I’m here to talk to you
about the walkable city. What is the walkable city? Well, for want of a better definition, it’s a city in which the car
is an optional instrument of freedom, rather than a prosthetic device. And I’d like to talk about
why we need the walkable city, and I’d like to talk about
how to do the walkable city. Most of the talks I give these days
are about why we need it, but you guys are smart. And also I gave that talk
exactly a month ago, and you can see it at TED.com. So today I want to talk
about how to do it. In a lot of time thinking about this, I’ve come up with what I call
the general theory of walkability. A bit of a pretentious term,
it’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but it’s something
I’ve thought about for a long time, and I’d like to share
what I think I’ve figured out. In the American city,
the typical American city — the typical American city
is not Washington, DC, or New York, or San Francisco; it’s Grand Rapids or Cedar
Rapids or Memphis — in the typical American city
in which most people own cars and the temptation
is to drive them all the time, if you’re going to get them to walk,
then you have to offer a walk that’s as good as a drive or better. What does that mean? It means you need to offer
four things simultaneously: there needs to be a proper reason to walk, the walk has to be safe and feel safe, the walk has to be comfortable and the walk has to be interesting. You need to do all four
of these things simultaneously, and that’s the structure of my talk today, to take you through each of those. The reason to walk
is a story I learned from my mentors, Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the founders of the New Urbanism movement. And I should say half the slides
and half of my talk today I learned from them. It’s the story of planning, the story of the formation
of the planning profession. When in the 19th century
people were choking from the soot of the dark, satanic mills, the planners said, hey, let’s move
the housing away from the mills. And lifespans increased
immediately, dramatically, and we like to say the planners have been trying to repeat
that experience ever since. So there’s the onset
of what we call Euclidean zoning, the separation of the landscape
into large areas of single use. And typically when I arrive
in a city to do a plan, a plan like this already awaits me
on the property that I’m looking at. And all a plan like this guarantees is that you will not have a walkable city, because nothing is located
near anything else. The alternative, of course,
is our most walkable city, and I like to say, you know,
this is a Rothko, and this is a Seurat. It’s just a different way —
he was the pointilist — it’s a different way of making places. And even this map of Manhattan
is a bit misleading because the red color
is uses that are mixed vertically. So this is the big story
of the New Urbanists — to acknowledge
that there are only two ways that have been tested by the thousands to build communities,
in the world and throughout history. One is the traditional neighborhood. You see here several neighborhoods
of Newburyport, Massachusetts, which is defined as being compact
and being diverse — places to live, work, shop,
recreate, get educated — all within walking distance. And it’s defined as being walkable. There are lots of small streets. Each one is comfortable to walk on. And we contrast that to the other way, an invention that happened
after the Second World War, suburban sprawl, clearly not compact, clearly not diverse,
and it’s not walkable, because so few of the streets connect, that those streets that do connect
become overburdened, and you wouldn’t let your kid out on them. And I want to thank Alex Maclean,
the aerial photographer, for many of these beautiful pictures
that I’m showing you today. So it’s fun to break sprawl down
into its constituent parts. It’s so easy to understand, the places where you only live,
the places where you only work, the places where you only shop, and our super-sized public institutions. Schools get bigger and bigger, and therefore, further
and further from each other. And the ratio of the size
of the parking lot to the size of the school tells you all you need to know, which is that no child
has ever walked to this school, no child will ever walk to this school. The seniors and juniors are driving
the freshmen and the sophomores, and of course we have
the crash statistics to prove it. And then the super-sizing
of our other civic institutions like playing fields — it’s wonderful that Westin
in the Ft. Lauderdale area has eight soccer fields
and eight baseball diamonds and 20 tennis courts, but look at the road
that takes you to that location, and would you let your child bike on it? And this is why we have
the soccer mom now. When I was young, I had one soccer field, one baseball diamond and one tennis court, but I could walk to it,
because it was in my neighborhood. Then the final part of sprawl
that everyone forgot to count: if you’re going to separate everything
from everything else and reconnect it
only with automotive infrastructure, then this is what your landscape
begins to look like. The main message here is: if you want to have a walkable city,
you can’t start with the sprawl model. you need the bones of an urban model. This is the outcome
of that form of design, as is this. And this is something
that a lot of Americans want. But we have to understand
it’s a two-part American dream. If you’re dreaming for this, you’re also going to be dreaming of this,
often to absurd extremes, when we build our landscape
to accommodate cars first. And the experience
of being in these places — (Laughter) This is not Photoshopped. Walter Kulash took this slide. It’s in Panama City. This is a real place. And being a driver
can be a bit of a nuisance, and being a pedestrian
can be a bit of a nuisance in these places. This is a slide that epidemiologists
have been showing for some time now, (Laughter) The fact that we have a society
where you drive to the parking lot to take the escalator to the treadmill shows that we’re doing something wrong. But we know how to do it better. Here are the two models contrasted. I show this slide, which has been a formative document
of the New Urbanism now for almost 30 years, to show that sprawl and the traditional
neighborhood contain the same things. It’s just how big are they, how close are they to each other, how are they interspersed together and do you have a street network,
rather than a cul-de-sac or a collector system of streets? So when we look at a downtown area, at a place that has a hope
of being walkable, and mostly that’s our downtowns
in America’s cities and towns and villages, we look at them and say
we want the proper balance of uses. So what is missing or underrepresented? And again, in the typical American cities
in which most Americans live, it is housing that is lacking. The jobs-to-housing balance is off. And you find that when
you bring housing back, these other things start to come back too, and housing is usually first
among those things. And, of course, the thing
that shows up last and eventually is the schools, because the people have to move in, the young pioneers have to move in,
get older, have kids and fight, and then the schools
get pretty good eventually. The other part of this part, the useful city part, is transit, and you can have a perfectly
walkable neighborhood without it. But perfectly walkable cities
require transit, because if you don’t have access
to the whole city as a pedestrian, then you get a car, and if you get a car, the city begins to reshape itself
around your needs, and the streets get wider
and the parking lots get bigger and you no longer have a walkable city. So transit is essential. But every transit experience,
every transit trip, begins or ends as a walk, and so we have to remember to build
walkability around our transit stations. Next category, the biggest one,
is the safe walk. It’s what most walkability
experts talk about. It is essential, but alone not enough
to get people to walk. And there are so many moving parts
that add up to a walkable city. The first is block size. This is Portland, Oregon, famously 200-foot blocks,
famously walkable. This is Salt Lake City, famously 600-foot blocks, famously unwalkable. If you look at the two,
it’s almost like two different planets, but these places were both built by humans and in fact, the story is that when
you have a 200-foot block city, you can have a two-lane city, or a two-to-four lane city, and a 600-foot block city
is a six-lane city, and that’s a problem. These are the crash statistics. When you double the block size — this was a study
of 24 California cities — when you double the block size, you almost quadruple
the number of fatal accidents on non-highway streets. So how many lanes do we have? This is where I’m going to tell you
what I tell every audience I meet, which is to remind you
about induced demand. Induced demand applies
both to highways and to city streets. And induced demand tells us
that when we widen the streets to accept the congestion
that we’re anticipating, or the additional trips
that we’re anticipating in congested systems,
it is principally that congestion that is constraining demand, and so that the widening comes, and there are all of these latent trips
that are ready to happen. People move further from work and make other choices
about when they commute, and those lanes fill up
very quickly with traffic, so we widen the street again,
and they fill up again. And we’ve learned that
in congested systems, we cannot satisfy the automobile. This is from Newsweek Magazine —
hardly an esoteric publication: “Today’s engineers acknowledge that building new roads
usually makes traffic worse.” My response to reading this was,
may I please meet some of these engineers, because these are not the ones that I — there are great exceptions
that I’m working with now — but these are not the engineers
one typically meets working in a city, where they say, “Oh, that road
is too crowded, we need to add a lane.” So you add a lane, and the traffic comes, and they say, “See, I told you
we needed that lane.” This applies both to highways
and to city streets if they’re congested. But the amazing thing
about most American cities that I work in, the more typical cities, is that they have a lot of streets
that are actually oversized for the congestion
they’re currently experiencing. This was the case in Oklahoma City, when the mayor came running
to me, very upset, because they were named
in Prevention Magazine the worst city for pedestrians
in the entire country. Now that can’t possibly be true, but it certainly is enough
to make a mayor do something about it. We did a walkability study, and what we found, looking
at the car counts on the street — these are 3,000-, 4,000-, 7,000-car counts and we know that two lanes
can handle 10,000 cars per day. Look at these numbers —
they’re all near or under 10,000 cars, and these were the streets
that were designated in the new downtown plan to be four lanes to six lanes wide. So you had a fundamental disconnect
between the number of lanes and the number of cars
that wanted to use them. So it was my job to redesign
every street in the downtown from curb face to curb face, and we did it for 50 blocks of streets, and we’re rebuilding it now. So a typical oversized street to nowhere is being narrowed, and now
under construction, and the project is half done. The typical street like this, you know, when you do that,
you find room for medians. You find room for bike lanes. We’ve doubled the amount
of on-street parking. We’ve added a full bike network
where one didn’t exist before. But not everyone has the money
that Oklahoma City has, because they have an extraction
economy that’s doing quite well. The typical city is more
like Cedar Rapids, where they have an all four-lane
system, half one-way system. And it’s a little hard to see, but what we’ve done — what we’re doing;
it’s in process right now, it’s in engineering right now — is turning an all four-lane
system, half one-way into an all two-lane system, all two-way, and in so doing, we’re adding
70 percent more on-street parking, which the merchants love, and it protects the sidewalk. That parking makes the sidewalk safe, and we’re adding a much more
robust bicycle network. Then the lanes themselves.
How wide are they? That’s really important. The standards have changed
such that, as Andrés Duany says, the typical road
to a subdivision in America allows you to see
the curvature of the Earth. (Laughter) This is a subdivision
outside of Washington from the 1960s. Look very carefully
at the width of the streets. This is a subdivision from the 1980s. 1960s, 1980s. The standards have changed
to such a degree that my old neighborhood of South Beach, when it was time to fix the street
that wasn’t draining properly, they had to widen it
and take away half our sidewalk, because the standards were wider. People go faster on wider streets. People know this. The engineers deny it,
but the citizens know it, so that in Birmingham, Michigan,
they fight for narrower streets. Portland, Oregon, famously walkable, instituted its “Skinny Streets” program
in its residential neighborhood. We know that skinny streets are safer. The developer Vince Graham,
in his project I’On, which we worked on in South Carolina, he goes to conferences and he shows
his amazing 22-foot roads. These are two-way roads,
very narrow rights of way, and he shows this well-known philosopher, who said, “Broad is the road
that leads to destruction … narrow is the road that leads to life.” (Laughter) (Applause) This plays very well in the South. Now: bicycles. Bicycles and bicycling
are the current revolution underway in only some American cities. But where you build it, they come. As a planner, I hate to say that,
but the one thing I can say is that bicycle population
is a function of bicycle infrastructure. I asked my friend Tom Brennan
from NelsonNygaard in Portland to send me some pictures
of the Portland bike commute. He sent me this. I said,
“Was that bike to work day?” He said, “No, that was Tuesday.” When you do what Portland did and spend
money on bicycle infrastructure — New York City has doubled the number
of bikers in it several times now by painting these bright green lanes. Even automotive cities
like Long Beach, California: vast uptick in the number of bikers
based on the infrastructure. And of course, what really does it, if you know 15th Street
here in Washington, DC — please meet Rahm Emanuel’s
new bike lanes in Chicago, the buffered lane, the parallel parking
pulled off the curb, the bikes between the parked
cars and the curb — these mint cyclists. If, however, as in Pasadena,
every lane is a bike lane, then no lane is a bike lane. And this is the only bicyclist
that I met in Pasadena, so … (Laughter) The parallel parking I mentioned — it’s an essential barrier of steel that protects the curb and pedestrians
from moving vehicles. This is Ft. Lauderdale;
one side of the street, you can park, the other side of the street, you can’t. This is happy hour on the parking side. This is sad hour on the other side. And then the trees themselves
slow cars down. They move slower when trees
are next to the road, and, of course, sometimes
they slow down very quickly. All the little details —
the curb return radius. Is it one foot or is it 40 feet? How swoopy is that curb to determine
how fast the car goes and how much room you have to cross. And then I love this,
because this is objective journalism. “Some say the entrance to CityCenter
is not inviting to pedestrians.” When every aspect
of the landscape is swoopy, is aerodynamic, is stream-form geometrics, it says: “This is a vehicular place.” So no one detail, no one speciality,
can be allowed to set the stage. And here, you know, this street: yes, it will drain within a minute
of the hundred-year storm, but this poor woman
has to mount the curb every day. So then quickly, the comfortable walk
has to do with the fact that all animals seek, simultaneously,
prospect and refuge. We want to be able to see our predators, but we also want to feel
that our flanks are covered. And so we’re drawn to places
that have good edges, and if you don’t supply the edges,
people won’t want to be there. What’s the proper ratio
of height to width? Is it one to one? Three to one? If you get beyond one to six,
you’re not very comfortable anymore. You don’t feel enclosed. Now, six to one in Salzburg
can be perfectly delightful. The opposite of Salzburg is Houston. The point being the parking lot
is the principal problem here. However, missing teeth, those empty lots
can be issues as well, and if you have a missing corner
because of an outdated zoning code, then you could have a missing nose
in your neighborhood. That’s what we had in my neighborhood. This was the zoning code that said
I couldn’t build on that site. As you may know, Washington, DC
is now changing its zoning to allow sites like this
to become sites like this. We needed a lot of variances to do that. Triangular houses
can be interesting to build, but if you get one built,
people generally like it. So you’ve got to fill those missing noses. And then, finally, the interesting walk: signs of humanity. We are among the social primates. Nothing interests us more
than other people. We want signs of people. So the perfect one-to-one ratio,
it’s a great thing. This is Grand Rapids,
a very walkable city, but nobody walks on this street that connects the two
best hotels together, because if on the left,
you have an exposed parking deck, and on the right,
you have a conference facility that was apparently designed
in admiration for that parking deck, then you don’t attract that many people. Mayor Joe Riley, in his 10th term,
Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, taught us it only takes
25 feet of building to hide 250 feet of garage. This one I call the Chia Pet Garage.
It’s in South Beach. That active ground floor. I want to end with this project
that I love to show. It’s by Meleca Architects.
It’s in Columbus, Ohio. To the left is the convention center
neighborhood, full of pedestrians. To the right is the Short North
neighborhood — ethnic, great restaurants,
great shops, struggling. It wasn’t doing very well
because this was the bridge, and no one was walking
from the convention center into that neighborhood. Well, when they rebuilt the highway,
they added an extra 80 feet to the bridge. Sorry — they rebuilt the bridge
over the highway. The city paid 1.9 million dollars, they gave the site to a developer, the developer built this and now the Short North
has come back to life. And everyone says, the newspapers,
not the planning magazines, the newspapers say
it’s because of that bridge. So that’s it. That’s the general
theory of walkability. Think about your own cities. Think about how you can apply it. You’ve got to do all four things at once. So find those places
where you have most of them and fix what you can, fix what still needs fixing
in those places. I really appreciate your attention, and thank you for coming today. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “4 ways to make a city more walkable | Jeff Speck”

  1. Why walk when there so much thief's and pick pocket on the road how safe is that 🙄🙄🙄 even in the nights

  2. thanks to modern videogames, we could be potentially training the next urban designer, through games such as SimCity, Skylines, Banished, Foundation or Planetbase.
    so, if society ever collapses, ….there's hope for building it again….

    …….and we also have people playing games such as 7 Days, Rust, Fortnite and H1Z1…. so… there's that…

  3. "People go faster on wider streets" – the Dutch know this and will deliberately make streets narrower to slow traffic down.

  4. Right these look great skinny roads!!! But when u want your building materials and groceries delivered and trucks cant get there ull think again…!

  5. Interesting video. As an avid cyclist I'm interested in anything that increases cycle friendly cities. I have always thought that a strong 'share the road' advertising campaign would work well, but I'm seeing what he means where 'every lane is a bike lane' means 'no lane is a bike lane'. Yeah, I might brave it, but most people wont, and you have to get a critical mass effect to reduce risk of injury.

    Bike lanes are definitely the way to go, but they also have to be real bike lanes, not afterthoughts. The bike lane that is full of road refuse because it never gets swept (because, well, we didn't really mean it, we only want to clean where the cars go) or buckled due to tree roots just push cyclists back onto the road, and then the drivers are pissed off because the cyclists 'aren't using the bike lane'.

  6. There is one thing he barely mentioned that needs to be in every city, and that is nature. Trees, grass, flowerbeds, plants, these need to be there for a city to be a really comfortable place to walk. They help air quality and temperature and even bring wildlife into a city to people who would otherwise never see any. This was in some of the pictures but not much mentioned in the talk. I think maybe he took it for granted but it needs to be emphasised or it will be forgotten by some city planners.

  7. Fantastic – and all so true. Living and having a real interest in Telford (UK) it is good to see how these ideas can be used in a New Town. So much of what works is also counterintuitive and it takes passion, drive and determination to get ideas such as these implemented.

  8. I love hearing my local area referenced. I grew up outside Portland and always wondered what others meant by a city block, they bigger then my hometown blocks, but not much. NY would be a different story.

  9. I wonder what an innovative city planner like Jeff thinks of the H space-filling curve as a model for being able to walk or drive from one place to another place in a square area with many houses, businesses, or parking spaces in an average distance of the logarithm of the side of the area, as compared with a conventional rectangular street layout?

  10. "All animals seek simultaneously prospect and refuge." It is interesting how the Darwinian paradigm of the mind is now widely accepted, despite all the opposition of the postmodern left.

  11. I'm a mathematician who drove trucks for 9 months. I truly believe that there are retarded engineers out there who actually claim, "See? More lanes worked because there's more traffic!" Stupid. This guy is brilliant! Love it.

  12. There are areas in my city that are very walkable and some that are not. One of the big differences in those areas is the success of the independent, locally owned stores and restaurants. The walkable areas have a lot more of the independently own stores. Heck, the big box book store closed and we still have the independent one downtown.

  13. I was expecting a lot more ideas on how to make cities more walkable. Along the lines of the parking lanes I found myself thinking about intersection under walk ways, green belts, sky bridges, pedestrian only alleyways, plazas and any other devices one could conjure. But then, none of those things have asphalt motorways as their core feature. Which is what this guy does for a living. Video should have been called, "Automobile traffic and it's effects on traffic."

  14. I knew Vegas was going to be mentioned in this Ted Talk. And then be brings up City Center, the worst pedestrian friendly property on the Strip.

  15. If it was safe to bike in San Diego, I would, but it's stressful. Even the few bike lanes we have are not very safe or protected from cars. It's a mild climate perfect for year-round active transport, but I find it terrifying to ride a bike in the city.

  16. This is what I love about Tokyo: There is nothing that you can do in a city that you cannot do within walking distance. There are no zoning laws, so you find all sorts of businesses in any chome (neighbourhood) in any ward in the city. If you want to go to a specific business which is on the other side of the city, nowhere in the city is much more than a 15-20 minute walk from a train station (which itself has a variety of businesses within)

  17. I love Beijing, but by Jeff Speck rules, it need some improvement.

    1. A Good Reason? … 1000ft. blocks!
    2. Safe? … Nobody follows traffic laws—neither cars nor people. Police don't give tickets for speeding or running red lights.
    3. Comfortable? … People jostle and walk around cars parked on already tiny sidewalks. Never once seen a blind or handicapped pedestrian.
    4. Interesting? … Yeah, if you think the Death Star is interesting.

  18. Meanwhile in Australia this kind of development continues unabated. Massive, ugly sprawling suburbs, often even with no footpaths (just grassy verges). They build 3,000 houses, then a stripmall about 2km away and the primary school on a main road on the outskirts. Nobody can walk their dogs, kids don't feel safe biking around and going for a walk is an exercise in how to induce rapid onset depression and anxiety.

  19. I live just south of Boston and my city is walkable, we have sidewalks, traffic lights (that sometimes get obeyed). I have two supermarkets within 1/2 mile and many other shops as well. The beach is about a 7 minute walk from my house and I walk it most mornings for the exercise and the scenery.

    Before I retired I went to work for the post office repairing the mail sorting machinery after my job went to China. I walked up to the train station and took a train to and from work (13 minute walk and a 14 minute train rIde, 20 minutes between trains). I did this for 8 years before I retired. The PO used to send us out to schools to train us on the sorting machines, I went to schools outside of Baltimore and the PO training facility in Norman, Oklahoma.

    If you don't have a car in either of those areas you are stuck, there is no other transportation and no sidewalks so waling is unsafe You either rented a car for the 2-4 week school or you sat in your room and drank. As I recall I got about $7 a day per diem on school days and $15 a day on weekends ($65 a week) so you had to dig deep in your own pocket to rent a car. People would go in together and rent a car on weekends but even with 4 people it was not affordable (weekend rates were higher) and then you all had to agree on where to go.

  20. I walk everywhere, I live in the middle of Bristol England which is like most old cities in Europe, very walkable.

  21. I think the engineers know, but their political bosses do not.
    Especially if those get funds from the car industry.

  22. I travel to Europe often and always find a small hotel in or near the city center. Why do I do this? Because I can walk everywhere and the walks are great. Interesting things to see, many restaurants and lots of people. The same reason I try to avoid going to American city's, Most look alike and few tempt one to walk anywhere. There are exceptions such as downtown Chicago, New York but these are few. Where I live now the city has recently encouraged the building of 5 story mixed use buildings in our little downtown. The condos sell almost instantly and the retail even quicker. Asked why and the new condo dwellers answer "we can walk everywhere we need to be, we don't have to use the car for everything"

  23. first things first get rid of the jaywalking laws, i cannot understand how such a law could come about? why would you not trust people to cross the road where they see fit? did america never pick up on the green cross code? asking as a brit.

  24. I suppose this kind of crap matters to city dwellers, but for those of us out in the country, we like our cars, our big stores, and our big parking lots. Even when I lived in a small city with downtown within walking distance, I never bought anything there, I got in my car and drove the five miles to the Walmart.

  25. Great talk. My only critique is that he never discussed accessibility. The needs of diversely-abled "walkers" being met should also be a factor in the safety portion of the talk.

  26. I look at this video, and the various items he lists, and I look at my local Japanese city, and Tokyo nearby, and I can't help but nod at how exactly the Japanese have caught this system, ESPECIALLY the narrow streets and tight corners.

  27. And in this walkable city plan they think so highly of a important fact has been missed. Those that have to work the streets. The garbage collector, the delivery driver, the semi driver and many more who now have to block entire roads and ALL traffic, risk their lives and hope people are willing to give up their life so someone else can enjoy the convinces they bring.

  28. Send this guy to India. Specifically Chandni Chowk in Delhi. He will love it and kiss the millions of pedestrians there and cows too.

  29. Cyclists are a menace to pedestrians. They have made life in the city much, much, worse and unplesant and dangerous for pedestrians. Please stop pushing this like a panacea.

  30. In Germany we're replacing bicycle lanes with buffer zones with parking cars again with lanes directly next to the car lanes, because the former are actually deadly to bicyclists, because they get run over by cars taking a right turn and not seeing the byciclist because of the parked cars. If the bycicle lane is next to the car lane, the drivers are better aware of who they share the road with.
    Over countries (e.g. the Netherlands) have been probably aware of this for a long time, but in Germany we're a but slow when it comes to infrastructure for bikes.

  31. Our way of life is based around asphalt roads and bridges, road transportation is very inefficient in compared to rail transportation whether it be trains or metros. The reason rail transportation is late to the development game is because it'll starve the demand for oil (gasoline , diesel) which will make oil cheaper and less profitable to sell. Since the Oligarchies already have pockets full of cash they bribe governments and divert development towards roads instead of approaching the issue from a different angle. Getting rid of the government would be the first step to a universally efficient means of transport because ultimately people will be bribed as long as the decisions are made from single organization or authority.

    Very Unique and useful information for city planning !

  32. Are you stupid? Don't slow the cars down. And don't narrow the road. You want less fatalities? Separate the pedestrians and the bikes from the cars. The road was build with road tax money paid by CARS.

  33. cities should not be built for walking or cyclists…

    the majority of traffic is cars, so prioritize that

  34. A bicycle lane between parked cars and the roadway isn't infrastructure it's a danger (door) zone and no seasoned cyclist will use it. Move the parked cars out and place the bicycle lane between the cars and the footpath and then you have a winning design

  35. In 1973, I lived in NW Washington, DC for four months while a studying at Howard Univ. Beautiful city, Very walk-able. No skyscrapers, stately row houses. For most of my life, 35 years, I lived in San Francisco (from post university to retirement). San Francisco is a wonderful Fellini-esque roller coaster ride of a city: interesting architecture; more restaurants per capita than any other place in the US; excellent public transportation. And the people of SF are the best. According to Zillow, most neighborhoods in SF rate 90+ for walking and biking. At 66, I've never had the need for a car–never owned one.
    For the last seven years, l have lived in my hometown, Memphis, a horrible city for walking. Streets too wide to cross safely. It's like one gigantic strip mall with side streets for neighborhoods. Drivers here have no respect for pedestrian. Just from my not walking miles per day as I used to, my health has declined. Soon I will move to Sosua, DR where I plan to walk for miles daily on the beach.

  36. I cringed when he said he was replacing one-way streets with two-way. As a cyclist and former motorcyclist I prefer one-way streets because you don't have to worry about cars turning left in front of you. And as a driver and pedestrian I prefer them because the traffic lights cycle faster and more efficiently so you're not stuck at a red light or do-not-walk for as long. And you can make left turns onto one-way streets even when the light is red. One-way is the only way!

  37. 4 ways to make a city more walkable? Just vote out democrats. Then it will be safer, cleaner, drug free, and less expensive…

  38. This is why I hate maze streets in residential neighborhoods, It just puts all the traffic on one road to go in and out of the neighborhood, instead of having almost every street hit a main street. Also You don't have to walk around the maze to get out you can take a much shorter walk to get out of the neighborhood.

  39. playback speed 0.75 because he was talking so damn fast. Didnt leave me no time to mull over what i was hearing

  40. I guess this means that we need self-driving transit. Speck and Musk should join forces, play Simcity for a while, and brainstorm.

  41. Used the material in lectures for students of City Planning few years ago , effective examples and narrative

  42. What about public transportation ??
    The streets shouldn't be binary, either cars or pedestrians. They should be ternary: cars, pedestrians, and public transports (buses and tramways). Public transports with their dedicated lanes are the most efficient, safe and fast way to transport people. Why not promote them instead of designing the streets for all individual cars and pedestrians ?
    In most major cities in France, either they already have developed subway or tramway networks, or they are developing one. And in every smaller town when they work on the streets they add a bus lane. Thus in France we don't have this dramatic issue of cars vs pedestrians, since many people are transported efficiently through public transport instead.

  43. It would seem I live on the opposite side of that scale… From my apartment I could reach any shop or mall by bicycle in 15 minutes or less.
    On a couple of occasions when going on shorter airplane trips to our capital, I've even strapped my carry-on luggage to the back of my bike and pedalled to the airport (where the city has built a really nice, heated indoors garage for bikes – cars are referred to the outside lot). At a leisurly speed I can get to the airport in just about 10 minutes.

  44. Famously walkable? No, famous for having lots of walkers and cyclists maybe – but Portland, Oregon is no paridise for pedestrians. It doesn't effectivly cater to cars, cyclists, or pedestrians. But forces each to get in each others way constantly (only Trimet ever has the right of way, but they make you pay for it). Walking just feels unsafe, you have to cross at least a dozen busy intersections to get anywhere, the sidewalks are just COVERED in homeless camps, there is ALWAYS a major construction project blocking your route, and poor diivability means more car traffic to contend with.

  45. Capitalism, Capitalism, Capitalism.. You eliminate the car you take profit from auto makers and oil companies… You Walk to work, You get healthier and eat less, taking money from the food industry… You get healthier you need less visits to the doctor and thus have taken from their profit… If you get healthier you need less medicine and thus deprive bigpharma of it's cut of your money. This list goes ON and On and on… But the bottom line is CAPITALISM is the reason we don't have WALKABLE cities. WALKABLE cities reduce profit and as long as we perpetuate the status quo, were doomed to live it. FOREVER!!!

  46. Don't play with sarcasm; it may be used against you, as you do not control it, neither you do irony.

  47. Very Theoretical,not very practical when bikes and pedestrians ignore traffic laws. He nver shows the reality of bike lanes when no one using them and Uber cars and trucks and police use them as parking spots. Trucks making a deliveries often only leave one lane open on a busy street that causes pedestrians to wander into the street because they cant see oncoming traffic. Building construction narrows the street even further plus toss in construction deliveries and machinery. You can't complain about congestion if your design causes congestion! Congestion pricing is a tax that only the rich can afford and nor a solution if the revenue you try to raise and remedy congestion lowers you revenue! … Not very smart! Designers live in fantasy land rather than the real world.

  48. Cheap shot. People who need the gym most have wonky knees. On the other hand, most of the rest has sense.

  49. The lectures is pathetic example of a man.
    He would have made humanity a great service if he had jumped into the sea, or other water, with a heavy shackle around his neck.

  50. So when I walk to my nearby Home Depot and buy an air compressor, then walk over to the grocery store and get a cart full of groceries, how do I get all this home?

  51. In South Africa these bike lanes won't last. The minibus taxi drivers will drive over them and kill the bikers and pedestrians.

  52. 1. Robert Krulwich (of Radiolab fame) hosted "Heartbeat of America", a documentary regarding the Standard Oil, Firestone and other companies using shell companies to undo a vibrant public transit trolley system in Los Angeles (yes) to replace it with Standard Oil using, Firestone riding busses and cars. That documentary is hard to find and has been 'replaced' with another version that softens the big business role in LA congestion.

    2. Airports, Malls (not that all those tax dollars supporting Malls was a good idea) and everywhere else @5:58 where escalators and moving sidewalks are installed; people step on them and stop. I take the stairs on purpose because the non-moving morons on escalators get angry when you step past them.

    3. In spite of 1 and 2, the speaker is correct. Walkable places are all about psychology. New York Central Park is man made. Think it is valuable? Guess where the most expensive homes in NYC are located?

  53. Bikes will not work – it’s a condensed form of the very same thinking that prioritizes cars over pedestrians in cities. The Netherlands as a nation boasts about the huge parking lots needed for bikes amid crowded streets while cities like Dublin (Ireland) suffers bike litter along the sidewalks – this makes walking less pleasant and also looks ugly. Bikes involve a lot of dwell time space requirements by comparison to public transit and walking. In any case, Copenhagen boasts about bike jams which is considered progress – traffic jams were considered a sign of progress not long ago – the bike is now the subject of the exact same mindset. In Dublin, a street car (tram) can carry 300 people and these electrified vehicles run all day with good usage – now compare that to 300 bikes that need their own lanes (they travel at a different velocity) and will lie idle in a parking lot during the day. Compare 300 pedestrians to 300 bikes – like the street cars, pedestrians don’t lie idle during the day as you need only your body to walk – zero dwell time and like the street cars, very space efficient. I walk a lot, drive a lot and use public transit a lot – I don’t have a bike as I don’t need one.

  54. This video autoplayed after another video I was watching ended. This was a great, interesting talk. Very enjoyable.

  55. I recall being happy to walk 45 minutes to a destination in Rome, because of the sheer beauty on every street

  56. I've grown up in England, in a little town called Lewes. To school (through both primary and secondary) I'd walk two hills a day, one of them with a suicidal slope, both fully just about pedestrian, and walk every where else in town if I needed to go somewhere. You'd take a bus into the outer parts of the nearest city (Brighton) when you wanted and then walk around the heavily populated pavements and be able to get anywhere you needed relatively easily on foot. I hate american cities with a passion, with those enormous unwavering 4-lane roads in small towns that cut up the community better than any wall.

  57. Palo Alto is doing a good job in recreating itself. Nonetheless, an extensive light rail system would help to decrease vehicular traffic of which there is too much in Palo Alto, Stanford, and surrounding communities. In 2017, I was astounded to see so many "big" people driving huge SUVs in downtown Palo Alto. Given California's growing green credentials, I found the ubiquitous automobile a real disconnect.

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