LYNN — Jeff Speck, a city planner and internationally known expert on walkable cities, will make a presentation on that topic Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Lynn Museum & Historical Society. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by EDIC/Lynn and the office of Mayor Thomas M. McGee.
Speck will be discussing and signing his latest book, “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.” The focus will be on how to improve the downtown experience for people who live, work and visit.
“When I attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors this year, I had a chance to see Jeff make a presentation on improving the walkability of a downtown. He addressed many of the issues Lynn faces and his input will be useful in developing a plan for a revitalized downtown to benefit all our residents,” said McGee. “I encourage people to take advantage of this great opportunity to join the discussion with a nationally recognized city planner to talk about ideas we can build upon to move our city forward.”
Speck is principal of Speck & Associates, a private consultancy offering design and advisory services to North American municipalities and the real-estate development industry. He served as Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003-07. His recent work includes downtown master plans, waterfront visions, urban and suburban infill plans, transit-oriented designs, street plans, and walkability studies for communities including Lowell, Memphis, Tenn., and Grand Rapids, Mich.
Speck, who lives in the Boston area, is familiar with the city and optimistic about the prospects for the downtown.
“Lynn is the sort of place that city planners would say has ‘good bones,’” he said. “The foundation is there for a very walkable downtown, and achieving it is not as hard as some people might think.”
EDIC/Lynn Executive Director James Cowdell hopes people will take the opportunity to listen to Speck’s ideas and ask questions during the Q&A after the lecture.
“When we reached out to Jeff at the suggestion of the mayor he was enthusiastic about coming to Lynn,” Cowdell said. “He is a foremost authority on urban design, and we are very pleased to welcome him to Lynn.”