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Walkable City

Walkable City, by Jeff Speck

As an architecture student, I read The Death and Life of the Great American City, by Jane Jacobs, often regarded as the standard critique for American urban planning since it was written in 1961. Now, Jeff Speck has written Walkable City, a new standard focusing on solutions to the cities we have created and he supports his points with examples of his own work as a city planner.

Columbia, MO is currently considering solutions to many different problems for our city as it continues to grow: re-writing the C2 zoning as several new development projects have been proposed, expanding the Providence and Stadium intersection, continuing to expand the major arterials and feeder streets, such as the recent Stadium expansion, adding a new arterial and I-70 off ramp at Scott Boulevard, etc. While all of the proposed changes our city officials have proposed will allow Columbia to continue to grow, they will encourage Columbia to grow out and continue the sprawl we have already experienced.

Walkable City does a wonderful job illustrating how this type of growth is not only financially unsustainable for a city, but also how this growth continues to decentralize our city and hurt the growth and value of our city’s core.