When urban planner and architect Jeff Speck wanted to design and build a house in Washington D.C., he looked for a specially-shaped lot — one which was a byproduct of Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s original plan for the city. What happened after that was the product of a series of interesting compromises and design decisions that led to a remarkable outcome, and tells a story to everyone who comes in contact with it today. Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, a boutique planning firm that specializes in making American downtowns thrive.

With Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Mr. Speck is the co-author of The Smart-Growth Manual and the “modern classic” Suburban Nation, which the Wall Street Journal calls “the urbanist’s bible.” His latest book, Walkable City — which the Christian Science Monitor calls “timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work” — was the best selling city-planning book of 2013-16. His TED talks and YouTube videos have been viewed more than 3.8 million times.