Walkable City – Review

Walkable-Cities-CoverKanye West first became famous for his music, but now his outrageous statements raise him to a level of notoriety far beyond his musicianship. The Kanye proclamation that sticks in my head comes from an impromptu speech to Harvard students. “I believe design can save the world.” I don’t know exactly what ills was looking to save the world from, but after reading Jeff Speck’s Walkable City, you quickly get the sense of many of the things wrong with this world that could be solved by applying the lesson from this direct and entertaining book.

Walkable City moves quickly. The structure makes sense. The reader understands the gravity of the stakes. The author delivers well-reasoned prescriptive solutions to the problems he calls attention to. Walkable City has the courage of its convictions and rather than simply pointing out problems it prescribes solutions. How wide should lanes be in streets?  Ten feet.  And the book is quick to explain why. How much is all the parking in Chicago worth? A lot more than the 1.2 billion Morgan Stanley paid for it. It’s a book that picks fights* and wins them. Read more

Graffiti and Graphic Design

Peter Chavez was a Pilsen graffiti kid. He wrote on walls, buildings, and train cars. One of those pieces of “vandalism” won him a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. Now his writing/painting/design is more likely to be in an ad or a t-shirt than a viaduct.

This interview was recorded in a cafe and you will hear that in the background.

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“(Graffiti) was something where I could have a name and be recognized”