Jeff Speck’s Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, is the 2014 Common Reading Experience title at Cleveland State University.
The book will be required reading for all first-year students enrolled in ASC 101: Introduction to University Life. ASC 101 is an orientation course that emphasizes “the nature and the value of a college education in relationship to one’s intellectual development, degree attainment, career success, and quality of life.”
According to the CSU Office of Student Learning Assessment, some of the self-reported positive learning outcomes for students who take ASC 101 include: understanding college expectations, general education requirements, and the University structure and policies; awareness of the campus resources that are available and how to access them; increased awareness of academic majors and career interest; developing new strategies for studying and learning; setting goals and taking responsibility for them; and others.
This just in: Cleveland State just named Walkable City it’s 2014 Campus Read! 1500+ freshmen will be reading it and talking the walk!
— Jeff Speck (@JeffSpeckAICP) January 27, 2014
Beyond the classroom, many events related to Walkable City will take place on and around the CSU campus throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. An author visit and Q&A; lectures and exhibits about architecture, urban planning and development, and public life; behind-the-scenes tours of university facilities that are not usually open to students; a Q&A with a current City Councilperson; walking tours in and around Downtown Cleveland; and more events are in the works.
Some of those tours will be guided by Cleveland Historical, a free mobile app developed by the University’s Center for Public History + Digital Humanities that combines still and moving images, audio, documents, and a collections of more than 500 local stories with live maps and the geolocation capabilities on a user’s mobile device to take them on an interactive, multidimensional tour of the region.
Each year, the CRE book is selected by a committee of university administrators, faculty from a variety of disciplines, campus life representatives, and students.
The goal of this common reading program is to create a shared learning experience that fosters student engagement, retention, and personal development beyond the classroom. In pursuing this initiative, CSU joins college campuses throughout the country that make this part of the freshman year experience. Although directed primarily at freshmen, we hope to engage the entire campus in this reading experience through promoting the book in other courses and sponsoring campus-wide activities to highlight the reading and its intersection with different disciplines and issues.
Walkable City is a great choice for Cleveland State; their city is the 16th most walkable large city in the U.S., and the 4th most walkable city in Ohio according to Walk Score, a group that evaluates an area’s “walkability” by analyzing how accessible local destinations like grocery stores, theaters, parks, restaurants, and retail are on foot.
Walkable City • North Point Press • 320 pages