Jeff Speck: The walkable city
In this 17-minute TED talk, Jeff Speck, a city planner and architectural designer, discusses the unsustainable American car culture, saying that we need to transition to walkable cities.
He explains that we’ve gone from spending one-tenth of our family incomes in the 70’s to one-fifth today for our auto transportation and we’ve also doubled our roads since then. Working families are spending more on transportation than housing, because they’re driving long distances to the house they want, that they are able to afford. Also, in the 70’s, one-tenth of our population was obese, and now it is one-third, while a second one-third of our population is now classified as overweight.
Speck believes that our American healthcare crisis is an urban design crisis, but that urban design can be the cure. “Inactivity is born of our landscape,” he says.
The attitude is changing to one of healthful living in cities, whereas in the past, it was assumed that cities were the unhealthy place to live.
While this talk is not specifically related to agriculture, it does relate to a changing value system towards sustainable living, and all trends in lifestyle impact the food system in one way or another, including distribution, urban gardening, vertical gardening, farm-to-table, and eat-local production surrounding urban centers.
Incidentally, here in Colorado, the number of residents locating to a rapidly evolving downtown Denver has increased by 140 percent since the year 2000.
Photo: By Bert Cash, BSC Photography @ Flickr CC. Denver.