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Jeff Speck    

City Planner & Urban Designer; Advocates for Smart Growth & Sustainable Design, Author of "Walkable City"

Jeff Speck is a city planner who, through writing, lectures, public service, and built work, advocates for more walkable cities. He leads Speck & Associates, a private consultancy offering design and advisory services to public officials and the real estate industry, while lecturing internationally on making cities more walkable, vital, and resilient.

Important work of Speck & Associates includes the Lowell, MA, Downtown Evolution Plan, walkability studies for fifteen different cities, and master plans for transit oriented developments along the Long Island Rail Road, Boston’s MBTA Green Line, and Utah’s Front Runner. He also led street design for Project 180 in Oklahoma City, which has rebuilt 50 blocks of downtown city streets. This project has converted a one-way street system back to two way, doubled the amount of on-street parking, and introduced a full bicycle network where none existed.

As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, Mr. Speck presided over the Mayors' Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Both programs teach design skills to leaders nationwide.

Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. (DPZ), where he led or managed more than forty of the firm’s projects. These included the new communities of Middleton Hills (WI) and Rosemary Beach (FL), and transformative downtown plans for Baton Rouge and Fort Myers, FL. DPZ is a principal firm behind the New Urbanism, an international movement that promotes alternatives to suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. Mr. Speck’s projects at DPZ and subsequently have won many national awards.

With Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, he is the co-author of the “modern classic” “Suburban Nation,” which the Wall Street Journal calls "the urbanist's bible.” With Andres Duany, he wrote “The Smart Growth Manual,” published in 2010 by McGraw Hill. His 2012 book, “Walkable City” —which the Christian Science Monitor calls “timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work”—was the best selling city-planning book of the past decade, and won the 2013 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. Its sequel, “Walkable City Rules,” was named a Planetizen “Best Book” of 2018. These last two books have been republished in more than a dozen languages.

Mr. Speck has been named a fellow of both the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Congress for New Urbanism. He was the 2022 recipient of the Seaside Prize, whose former awardees include Jane Jacobs and Christopher Alexander. His TED talks and YouTube videos have been viewed more than six million times.

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