Summer Reading: “Walkable City” by Jeff Speck

Exploring Inequality

What makes a house or apartment great has a lot to do with its location. In “Walkable City,” Jeff Speck writes that living in neighborhoods with mixed-use zoning—where all the different types of necessary businesses are close by—reduces carbon emissions far more than could any green gizmo. Not only are pedestrian-friendly areas good for the environment, but they also appeal to many Americans, including the “creative class” Millennials that many cities are trying to court. Speck argues that walking and bicycling don’t depend on climate, but on design; after all, brisk Minneapolis has been declared the best city in America for bikers. Walkable cities decrease obesity, car fatalities, and the stress caused by long driving commutes—and, according to Speck, they can be created anywhere.


Pictured: Not Atlanta

Many of Speck’s tips for making a city walkable match up with my own experience as a pedestrian in Atlanta. Curb-cuts—places where cars…

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