About Darrin Nordahl, Writer and Author

Darrin Nordahl is an award-winning writer on issues of food and city design. He completed his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture at the University of California at Davis and his master’s degree in urban design at Cal-Berkeley. He is the author of Making Transit Fun!, My Kind of Transit and Public Produce.

A Book Review of Jeff Speck’s “Walkable City Rules”

Unlike most planning books, which set their sights for twenty, sometimes fifty, years into the future, Speck’s book is for now. Actually, it’s long overdue.

I wish I had Walkable City Rules fifteen years ago, to distribute to mayors, city administrators, DOT engineers, and developers. When I was the City Designer for the City of Davenport, Iowa, I helped prepare informational packets for the council, design review board, and planning commission. This paperwork would have gone much faster if I could have copied relevant rules from Speck’s book to include in those packets. My discussions with the state highway engineers and our own Public Works Department would have been more fruitful, and meetings more efficient, had I been able to pass out rules on why traffic lanes should be narrowed, curb-cuts eliminated, and angled parking allowed. There would have been fewer walls in City Hall I beat my head against had developers been shown Speck’s reasoning large parking lots in front of their retail centers is not a good thing (and that including housing in those retail centers is a good thing).

blank

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Sign up for our email list to receive resources and invites related to sustainability, equity, and technology in cities!

You have Successfully Subscribed!