Thursday, April 18, 2013
Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive. He's boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. In his essential new book, Walkable City, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can all make the right choices for our communities.
Jeff Speck, city planner, architect and author, will be the featured speaker at the Albany Roundtable’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
The event is open to the public, and will be held at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street. The reception will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., and will feature a social hour with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a short update on the Albany Roundtable Civic Luncheon Series, the presentation of the Good Patroon Award, the presentation of the inaugural Albany Roundtable Scholarship, and a talk and book signing by the visiting speaker. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online.
The following morning, the Albany Roundtable will sponsor a workshop with Speck for planning professionals, municipal leaders and interested citizens, titled“Walkability 101- 999: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your City More Walkable.” The workshop will be held at the University Club from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon with registration at 9:30 a.m. The cost for the workshop is $20. Participants are invited to stay for lunch for an additional $20. Reservations for the workshop and lunch may also be made online.
Attend one, two or all three of the events - it's up to you!
Speck, who lives in Washington, D.C., advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design through writing, lectures, and built work. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a federal program that helps state governors fight suburban sprawl.
Prior to joining the Endowment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at Duany Plater-Zyberk and Co., a leading practitioner of the New Urbanism, where he led or managed more than forty of the firm’s projects. He is the co-author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream as well as The Smart Growth Manual. He serves as a Contributing Editor to Metropolis Magazine, and on the Sustainability Task Force of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His new book,Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), is now available in print, digital, and audio format.
At the evening reception, the Albany Roundtable will present its Good Patroon Award to The Music Mobile and its founder Ruth Pelham for teaching children the importance of civility, fostering cooperative behavior, and imparting the value of tolerance. The Good Patroon Award was established by the Albany Roundtable in 1988 to recognize outstanding contributions to the community by institutions and individuals. The Albany Roundtable will also present a $1,000 scholarship to Jonah Mackay, a senior at Clayton A. Bouton High School in Voorheesville, for demonstrated civic leadership.
“The Albany Roundtable has embraced the concepts of smart growth, New Urbanism and sustainability since it was founded in 1979,” said Colleen Ryan, president of the all-volunteer 501c3 corporation. “As Howard Mansfield wrote over a decade ago in his book,The Same Ax, Twice, ‘the last forty years of suburban development have wiped out our memory of how to build towns … There is a growing movement of architects … who are looking to revive traditional town design.’ We’re looking forward to learning more about how to make better choices for our communities, and how a commitment to walkability inevitably enhances city life.”
The Albany Roundtable’s previous Visiting Speakers have included John Norquist (CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism); Janet Flammang (The Taste for Civilization); Colin Beavan (No Impact Man), Jaime Correa (planner, architect and professor at the University of Miami); Stan Eckstut (NYC architect, Battery City Project); Tony Hiss (Project for Public Spaces); Robert McNulty (Partners for Livable Places); Paul Pritchard (National Parks and Conservation Association); Richard Bradley (proponent of Downtown business districts); Ray Oldenburg (The Great Good Place); James Howard Kunstler (author and new urbanist); Jane Holtz Kay (architecture critic, author of Asphalt Nation); Joseph P. Riley (Mayor, Charleston, South Carolina); Richard Reinhart (Buffalo Place); and others.
Tickets for the reception, workshop and/or lunch must be purchased by Friday, May 17. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call The University Club at 518-463-1151.
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