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‘Walking’ Author, Advocate Lectures on Saving Downtown at TAMIU Wednesday Posted: 1/14/16

‘Walking’ Author, Advocate Lectures on Saving Downtown at TAMIU Wednesday


Jeff Speck, guest lecturer at TAMIU

            An acclaimed author, city planner and urban designer who believes that walkability is among the best catalysts for a downtown revitalization lectures at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Theatre.

            The TAMIU lecture is made possible in collaboration with the Laredo Section of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The discussion and book signing is free of charge and open to all.

            Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City:  How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (North Point Press, 2013), is an international advocate for smart growth and sustainable design. Walkable City was the bestselling planning/design title of 2013 and hailed by The Christian Science Monitor as “timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work.”

            Speck has been director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts, oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

            He is principal for Speck & Associates of Massachusetts which creates downtown master plans, waterfront visions, urban and suburban infill plans, transit-oriented designs, street plans, and walkability studies for communities including Lowell, Massachusetts; Memphis, Tennessee; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, among others.

            He is also the co-author of Suburban Nation:  The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream (2000), and The Smart Growth Manual (2009).

            Mario A. Peña, local architect and AIA Laredo Section member, said Speck’s discussion at TAMIU offers Laredoans a rare opportunity.

            “We are very fortunate to have Jeff Speck infuse these concepts just as Laredo prepares to collaborate on its Comprehensive Plan. The ideas he champions are of vital importance to the future of our city. After hearing him speak, I think all our attendees will agree that the status quo will no longer work if we are to create a city that will continue to thrive,” Peña said.

            Speck earned his BA at Williams College and a Master of Fine Arts in Renaissance Architectural History as a Florence Graduate Fellow at Syracuse University’s Florence, Italy campus. He also earned a Master of Architecture with distinction at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and was an AIA Fellow.

            An international lecturer, he is also frequently interviewed or asked to comment by news media including NPR, Atlantic Cities, U.S. News and World Report, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, Planning and others.

           Over 895,654 people have viewed his TED Talk on walkability worldwide.
Walkable City by Jeff Speck

            For additional information, contact the Laredo AIA Section at 956.722.8186 or the TAMIU Office for Institutional Advancement at 956.326.218.

            University office hours are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Related Links:

TED Talk

Laredo AIA Chapter