In January, PS21 (Portsmouth SmartGrowth for the 21st Century) is sponsoring the Portsmouth appearance of one of the nation’s foremost urban planners and advocates for walkable cities, Jeff Speck.
Speck, the author of the best-selling design book of 2013, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, will discuss the importance of “walkability” and how to make it happen in Portsmouth.
His presentation, “Towards a More Walkable Portsmouth,” will begin at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 22 at Seacoast Repertory Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There will be a question and answer period, and Speck will sign copies of Walkable City afterward.
The next day, Friday, Jan. 23, Speck will lead an in-depth workshop for land-use board members, design professionals, developers, City staff and interested members of the public, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Portsmouth City Hall. A get-acquainted hour is planned for 10-11 a.m., also at City Hall.
Both events will be free and open to the public. However, seating is limited. Please RSVP.
In addition to Walkable City, Speck co-wrote the best-selling and influential books Suburban Nation and The Smart Growth Manual. He served as director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, where he oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a federal program that helps state governors fight suburban sprawl.
Prior to joining the endowment, Speck spent 10 years as director of town planning at Duany Plater-Zyberk and Co., a leading practitioner of the New Urbanism, where he led or managed more than 40 projects.
Primary funding for this event is provided by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the City of Portsmouth, with additional support from Esther’s Marina, Piscataqua Savings Bank and PortsmouthNH.com.
Seacoast Local will feature the event as a partner in their “Making the Connection” speaker series. Individual contributors include Jerry Zelin, attorney at law, and Stephen and Karin Barndollar.