OKC Central


Live Blogging: Jeff Speck

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: April 3, 2013

He asks: how do you get people to walk? Answer – You have to give them a reason to walk.
It needs to be a safe walk and feel safe. It needs to be comfortable and meaningful.
Planning profession failed in recent years, moved housing away from “the dark industrial mills….”
They created suburban areas designed for driving, not walking.
Two tested ways to create community, one by creating community, walkable, the other is suburban sprawl.
Suburban sprawl created after World War II, he notes. Has places where you live, places where you work, places where you shop, huge institutional places.
“This is why you have soccer moms – no mom would let their kid walk home on these huge arteries from the soccer field.”
Shows a photo of actual sign at a traffic light:
“This light never turns green.”
Another photo shows escalators leading up to a fitness center.
“It’s sad.”
A useful walk is possible. YOu have to ask what pieces are missing?
- Office
- Retail
- Dining
- Entertainment
- Housing
- Schools
- Recreation
- Worship
- Parking
Speck says housing was missing in downtown Oklahoma City, which meant shopping was missing. But that’s changing. More housing coming in, seeing more retail. And school being built.
“Since I did my last work in Oklahoma City, when housing was thriving,you see great new coffee shops and other uses coming in.”

by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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