The Walkable City

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  • The Walkable City



    June 25-26, 2020
    Harvard University Campus

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Date: Thursday, June 25, 2020 – Friday, June 26, 2020
Location: Harvard University Campus
CEUs: 14 AIA/CES (HSW) | 14 AICP/CM | 14 LA/CES (HSW)
Tuition: $1,500

* Please note: the contents on this page are still being updated and subject to change. 

Program Description

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 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 Somerville, MA chief planner George Proakis.

Course Description - Walkable City

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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.

Our instructors have completed seven Walkability Plans for American municipalities in the past five years, and will show you how to complete such plans for your communities.

Finally, you will get some hands-on experience. The nearby City of Somerville has been working on the redevelopment of neighborhoods surrounding new rail stations on the MBTA’s planned Green Line extension. One of these neighborhoods has had its design delayed due to utility issues, but, soon, it will be time to make new proposals. City of Somerville planning staff, led by chief planner George Proakis, will join the class for a half-day mini-charrette, during which you will visit several locations in Somerville and return to the classroom to design possible solutions by applying the walkability principles you have learned.

Course - Who Should Attend - Walkable City

Who Should Attend

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

Course - Ten Steps - Walkable City

The Ten Steps of Walkability

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

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

Course - Learning Objectives - Walkable City

Learning Objectives

  • 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 plan.
  • Brainstorm and charrette the redevelopment of three neighborhoods surrounding new rail stations in the MBTA’s planned Green Line expansion.

Course - Testimonial - Walkable City

"Wow! Overall knowledge is off the chart. Was totally engaged throughout the class. Thought-provoking and well-paced."

"Loved getting insight from a city official who is fighting for change everyday."

Video - 1 - Walkable City

The General Theory of Walkability:
Jeff Speck @ TEDx MidAtlantic

Video - 2 - Walkable City

The Walkable City:
Jeff Speck at TEDCity2.0

Course - Instructor - George Proakis

Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, City of Somerville
Full Bio  >>

Course - Register Bottom - Walkable City

The Walkable City
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2020 – Friday, June 26, 2020
Location: Harvard University Campus
CEUs: 14 AIA/CES (HSW) | 14 AICP/CM | 14 LA/CES (HSW)
Tuition: $1,500

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