An international expert and advocate on the importance of making cities walkable will deliver a public lecture in Iowa City. 

Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time will speak Monday, Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City. 

This event is free and open to all. 

Speck is a city planner and urban designer who advocates for more sustainable cities. In his latest book, Walkable City, Speck writes that creating a walkable city is more than constructing sidewalk. Instead, the urban environment must be designed so walking is useful, safe, comfortable and interesting.

He says, “…we must understand that the walkable city is not just a nice, idealistic notion. Rather, it is a simple, practical-minded solution to a host of complex problems that we face as a society, problems that daily undermine our nation’s economic competitiveness, public welfare, and environmental sustainability.”

Speck previously served as Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2007 where he presided over the Mayor’s Institute on City Design and created the Governor’s Institute on Community Design. Both are leadership initiatives that help local governments deal with critical urban design challenges.  Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, a boutique planning firm that specializes in American downtowns. 

Speck will be available afterwards to sign his book. Prairie Lights will sell copies at the event and will also have them in stock at their book shop located at 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City.  

The City of Iowa City and University of Iowa School of Urban Planning are partnering to bring Speck to the Iowa City community.

To learn more about Speck, visit

Date of publication

Wednesday, October 12, 2016