Placemaking from an artful perspective

What would a city look like from an arts point of view? That question was answered in detail by Jeff Speck, long-time associate and director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversees the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and presented by Planetizen. Here’s our synopsis of his top ten principles:

1. Design Streets for People – That’s people, not cars.
2. Overrule the Specialists – Traffic engineers prioritize cars, not people. Don’t put them in charge.
3. Mix the Uses – Live, work, pay.
4. Hide the Parking Lots – Otherwise it can easily ruin the pedestrian experience
5. Small is Beautiful – Buildings not too tall, blocks not too long, human-scaled
6. Save That Building – Historic buildings add the most character to a neighborhood – by far
7. Build Normal (Affordable) Housing – Mix the affordability, mix unit sizes – no more projects
8. Build Green/Grow Green – Trees (minimum 5′ planter!) and energy efficiency
9. Question your Codes – They’re probably written by traffic engineers
10. Don’t Forget Beauty – Inspire us, and start with the most public of places.

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