Renowned US author, city planner and architectural designer Jeff Speck believes the key to making cities thrive comes down to one factor – walkability.

Outside of his day job as a planner, Speck spends his time lecturing and advocating for the rethinking of modern city planning. Speck rejects Euclidian zoning, or the separation of the landscape into large areas of single use like living, working, recreation and institution, and advocates for the adoption of compact and diverse communities, where places to live, work, shop, recreate, get educated are all within walking distance. 

Speck’s Ted Talk ‘4 ways to make a city more walkable’, is different from the majority of his lectures in that it describes how to do the walkable city rather than why we need them. Its major themes are summarised perfectly by Speck here:

“In the typical American city in which most people own cars and the temptation is to drive them all the time, if you're going to get them to walk, then you have to offer a walk that's as good as a drive or better. What does that mean? It means you need to offer four things simultaneously: there needs to be a proper reason to walk, the walk has to be safe and feel safe, the walk has to be comfortable and the walk has to be interesting. You need to do all four of these things simultaneously.”

Watch the full Ted Talk below.