I’ve done a pretty cruddy job of telling you about Joe Minicozzi and why he is the featured speaker of our upcoming Walkability Summit. And since early bird registration for the event closes Monday, and the Lab starts in three weeks, it’s probably a good time to tell you why you’re gonna remember September 19th forever–if you come and watch him speak.
…Also, the thought of you skipping Joe’s speech to play Minesweeper at your office really gets my blood boiling. We have enough uninspired people in this world, don’t be another one…
The first time I saw Joe speak was a few years ago at a conference in San Diego. I get all geeked out when talking about the economics of walkability, so when I saw that Joe was giving a presentation on the topic, I had to go. Even though I’d never heard of him.
Mitchell Silver (yeah you planners probably know him) spoke before Joe and said what you will hear today is revolutionary. I thought in my head, poppycock!! I’ve heard this before…
Boy, were they right.
Joe Minicozzi stepped up and was dazzling. He can dazzle you, your boss, and your local governing board with his numbers. His tax analysis of comparing compact downtowns to urban sprawl is really awesome. He shows that even the crappiest little downtowns well outperform the traditional power centers we’ve all come to loathe (or love?).
It’s really hard to argue with his analysis. And how he delivers the message. It’s powerful.
Once his analysis started getting around, he’s become in high demand. So much so, that I had to almost beg his wife to let him come. OK, not really, but we had to work out a deal so he could get back to her 😉
He and his firm Urban3 have been hired all across the country to do analysis of towns and regions. It’s starting to get city leaders thinking differently about the kinds of developments they are approving and how they are essentially throwing tax money away by not investing more in their urban cores.
I don’t want to say too much because I like surprising people. But this dude is legit. You all went crazy when I shared his write up in Forbes a few months ago.
I should note that we have some other awesome speakers lined up for Friday too hailing from all over the country: Washington DC, Long Beach, Louisville, Phoenix, Huntington, WV, Asheville, NC, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, OH. OH, and perhaps my favorite part of all, MORPC’s blindfolded walking audit of downtown Columbus!
If you aren’t joining us, then I hope you’re on a beach somewhere…and not pushing papers and sweeping virtual mines. We have enough urban planners and others like them doing that already.