The Walkable City

Jeff Speck, an urban designer, discusses his thought on “The Walkable City” based on insights from economists, epidemiologists, and environmentalists. These quotes do not summarize the talk, I just find them helpful.

The best economic strategy you can have as a city is not the old way of trying to attract corporations, in trying to have a biotech cluster, or a medical cluster, or aerospace cluster but to become a place where people want to be. And millenials, certainly these engines of entrepreneurship, 64% of whom decide first where they want to live, then they move there, then they look for a job. They will come to your city.

We have these studies that tie weight to inactivity but even more, we now have studies that tie weight to where you live. Do you live in a more walkable city or do you live in a less walkable city?

If you love nature the best thing you can do is stay the heck away from it.

On the Mercer Quality of Living Survey,

Is being more sustainable, what gives you a higher quality of life? I would argue, the same thing that makes you more sustainable is what gives you a higher quality of life and that’s living in a walkable neighborhood. So sustainability, which includes our wealth and our health may not be a direct function of our sustainability. But particularly, here in America, we are polluting so much because we are throwing away our time, and our money, and our lives on the highway.

Speck is a “city planner, an urban designer, former arts advocate, trained in architecture and art history.”

***

As an adult, whether single or raising a family, you cannot help but think about sustainability and quality of life. These are not mere buzzwords. It is simply, longterm thinking.

If you are still in the phase of living in the moment and not thinking about the near future, you will eventually get to this point. And you will realize what I’m talking about, I guarantee you that.

Hopefully, you will also realize that sustainability and quality of life is important not just at the personal and family level but most importantly, at the community level.

For us Filipinos, reflecting and acting on sustainability and quality of life are more essential than ever: in the pursuit of peace and development in Zamboanga and other conflict-torn areas, pursuit of democratic and transparent alternatives to the use of pork barrel funds, efforts in rebuilding Bohol and other areas damaged by the earthquake, and all other challenges that the country is faced with.

We ought to be tired of “band-aid” solutions. Or should I say, we ought to despise “band-aid” solutions.

We should aspire for, work on, and demand for sustainable solutions in any challenge. It is a mindset that should be cultivated in every Filipino, and most especially by our leaders.

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