Jeff Speck visits Sydney

Jeff Speck visits Sydney

One foot in front of the other

It's as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. So why is it important to prioritise people walking in growing cities?

International walking guru, Jeff Speck says designing cities around people walking has countless economic, health and environmental benefits.

"The best economic strategy you can have as a city is to be a place people want to be," Jeff says.

"Martin Place is the perfect example of where people like to walk. It's about prospect and refuge. When walking, we like to see framing edges like buildings, with a clear vision of where we're going."

Visiting Sydney to share his insights on the importance of walkability, Jeff says Potts Point is one of his favourite areas of Sydney.

"I love walking around Potts Point. It's like the Notting Hill of Sydney. The Royal Botanical Gardens is also an incredible place to walk," the city designer and author says.

Asked how he thinks Sydney compares to American cities for walkability, Jeff believes Sydney is ready to embrace walking.

"In Australia, your cities are as good as our best, but your suburbs are as bad as our worst."

A more walkable city improves:

  • economic productivity through greater efficiency and ability to attract talent
  • general health outcomes through incidental physical activity
  • sustainability through increased living density.

Jeff will host talks in partnership with the Committee for Sydney and Consult Sydney. Watch Jeff's TED talk.

Last updated: Wednesday, 10 August 2016