A crowd walking down a ramp with the U.S. Capitol in the background

The Walkable City

Jeff Speck’s comprehensive two-day course on the most effective arguments, techniques, and tools for reshaping places in support of walking, biking, and transit.

Curious about what to expect when coming to campus? Please visit our Campus Learning page.

What makes a place walkable? What do design professionals, engineers, developers, and public officials need to know if they are to make, streets, landscapes, and communities more attractive to pedestrians?

Join Jeff Speck, author of the best-selling Walkable City, for a comprehensive two-day course on the most effective arguments, techniques, and tools for reshaping places in support of walking, biking, and transit, including a design charrette with the City Manager of Watertown, MA, George Proakis.

What to Expect

We will start by asking why walkability is desirable: most communities support the concept of walkability as a matter of course, but this commitment can waver in the face of countervailing pressures from entrenched interests. You will learn the most powerful economic, epidemiological, and environmental arguments for making a sustained investment in walking, biking, and transit.

The central segment of the course will focus in great depth on the following ten strategies for making better places: Put Cars in Their Place; Mix the Uses; Get Parking Right; Let Transit Work; Protect the Pedestrian; Welcome Bikes; Shape the Spaces; Plant Trees; Make Friendly and Unique Faces; and Pick Your Winners.

Jeff Speck has completed fifteen Walkability Studies over the past twenty years, and will show you how to complete such plans in your communities.

Finally, you will get some hands-on experience. After an always-popular lecture on the role of the municipal planner, George Proakisā€”former Somerville chief planner and newly-appointed Watertown City Managerā€”will lead a tour of recent planning successes in Somerville before bringing the class to Watertown Square, the heart of his community. Badly in need of a redesign, the Square will become the focus of an afternoon mini-charrette during which student teams will be asked to design possible solutions by applying the walkability principles they have learned.

  • Learn the most powerful economic, epidemiological, and environmental arguments for making a sustained investment in walking, biking, and transit.
  • Discuss ten strategies for making better places: The Ten Steps of Walkability.
  • Learn how to do a Walkability Study.
  • Brainstorm and charrette the redevelopment of Watertown Square – a community hub badly in need of a redesign.

Design professionals, engineers, developers, community leaders, and public officials.

Please note that walking the streets of Cambridge, Somerville, and Watertown is a part of the program. Please contact our office if you are interested in this program and may require assistance.

The central segment of the course will focus in great depth on the following ten strategies for making better places:

  • Put Cars in Their Place: Equitable planning around the automobile.
  • Mix the Uses: Strategies for getting more housing downtown.
  • Get Parking Right: The wisdom of Donald Shoup.
  • Let Transit Work: Creating transit riders by choice.
  • Protect the Pedestrian: All the details that embody the Safe Walk.
  • Welcome Bikes: Current best practices in cycle networks.
  • Shape the Spaces: The role of figural space.
  • Plant Trees: Monetizing the manifold benefits of street trees.
  • Make Friendly and Unique Faces: Active facades and the role of architects.
  • Pick Your Winners: Urban Triage as a technique for expanding success.

Instructor


Headshot of Jeff Speck

Jeff Speck, FAICP, FCNU, LEED-AP, Hon. ASLA

Founding Partner, Speck Dempsey


Guest Speakers

Headshot of George Proakis

George Proakis, AICP

City Manager, Watertown, Massachusetts


The General Theory of Walkability: Jeff Speck @ TEDx MidAtlantic

The Walkable City: Jeff Speck at TEDCity2.0

Participant Stories

Headshot of Alyse Li

Allyse Li

Founding principal of RAAW Design Group

an image of Darrell O'Quinn

Darrell O’Quinn

Council President, District 5 of the Office of the Birmingham City Council

Headshot of Rafa Selman

Rafa Selman

Principal / Managing Architect

The Walkable City

May 30-31, 2024 | 9:00am – 5:00pm Eastern

Harvard University Campus
Tuition: $1,850
CEUs: 14 AIA LUs (HSW), 14 AICP/CM, 14 LA/CES (HSW)
AMDP Elective Units: 2

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Discounts & Deadlines

Due to limited classroom space, we reserve the right to close registration at any time.

Please email us at [email protected] with any questions and to ask about group signup.

Registration Deadline: 24 hours before the start of the program.

Full Discount and Cancellation Policies