Fall 2017 Pool Mini-Tourney with 21st-ranked All Time Urbanist Jeff Speck!! 11/9 @ 8:30 pm at Napper Tandy’s Roslindale

We’ll gather at approximately 8:30 pm on Thursday, November 9, at Napper Tandy’s in Roslindale for some pool and discussion with our friend and fellow Boston region resident Jeff Speck. Jeff is the highly respected author of The Walkable City and other popular works on the urban condition, including Suburban Nation, which he co-wrote with new urbanist giants Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. Jeff was also recently ranked 21st on planetizen.com’s ranking of all-time great urbanists. Bring quarters and your thoughts about how we can make Roslindale a more walkable,  bikeable, and transit-friendly community.

Urban Moneyball for Walkability

Thought-provoking episode of Christopher Lydon’s Open Source podcast, featuring Mayor Walsh’s chief of staff Daniel Arrigg Koh among others, about the city’s ambitious move toward a “Moneyball” statistical/evidence-based approached to government. There are benefits as well as perils to this approach–we need to make sure we measure the right things, protect against “gaming” the system, and not lose sight of the forest for the trees (or, in this case, for micro-level data). The opportunities to promote walkability through a data driven approach are manifold and exciting, however, and better collection and use of data is key to the Vision Zero Initiative.

We recommend the entire episode which repeatedly touches on issues of transportation, walkability, density, and vibrant neighborhoods, but if you only have a minute, check out this snippet from city planner Jeff Speck, Boston-area resident and author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, who called in to highlight the importance of walkability metrics.

(download link)

Also of interest is a somewhat contrary perspective on the “knowledge economy” and its ill impacts on neighborhood character from the Baffler’s John Summers, who bemoans the transformation of Central Square later in the episode, expressing the general sentiment of his article The People’s Republic of Zuckerstan.