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City planner Speck to visit Paducah

Staff report

Internationally known author, city planner and urban designer Jeff Speck will visit Paducah in August to tour and review the city, meet with city officials, and make presentations to the public about the importance of a downtown's walkability and sustainability to a community's economy, safety, and health. 

Speck was invited by the city to make a presentation to the general public on Thursday, Aug. 7 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Maiden Alley Cinema, 112 Maiden Alley.  The presentation is free; however, due to limited seating, participants must pre-register by contacting the Paducah Planning Department at 270-444-8690 by noon Aug. 7.

Speck advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design.  He will be providing an analysis of Paducah's walkability, pedestrian and street connectivity, and appearance and recommendations for improvement.

"Jeff Speck is a visionary and an expert in his field," said City Manager Jeff Pederson. "It is proactive for the city of Paducah to get his insight on our downtown, riverfront and city as a whole."

Speck will start the day Aug. 7 as the guest speaker at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce's Power in Partnership Breakfast.  The monthly breakfast meetings are held at 7:30 a.m. at the Julian Carroll Convention Center.  Contact the Chamber at 270-443-1746 for registration information.  The cost is $15 for members and non-members.

"People are attracted to live in places that are safe and offer an interesting street life with an abundance of uses," said Steve Ervin, city planning director.  "His review and comments on Paducah will allow us to concentrate our reinvestments in downtown in ways that make Paducah more livable."

In Speck's latest book, "Walkable City, How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time," he addresses questions such as "What kind of city will help us thrive economically?" and "What kind of city will keep our citizens not just safe, but healthy?"  He ties the importance of having a walkable city to a city's future. 

Recent work of Washington, D.C.-based Speck & Associates, LLC includes downtown master plans and street plans, infill plans, waterfront studies and walkability studies. 

Speck holds a master of architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a master of fine arts in Renaissance architectural history from Syracuse University, Florence, Italy.

For more information about Speck, visit www.jeffspeck.com or contact the Paducah Planning Department at 270-444-8690.

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