A popular speaker, veteran communications strategist, award-winning writer and community consultant, Jay Walljasper gathers stories and practices from around the world that point us toward a better and more enjoyable future.
He covers a wide variety of topics, with particular specialties in community and urban issues, travel, sustainability, cultural commentary, and the commons.
His experience includes being editorial director and editor of Utne Reader, executive editor of Ode magazine, and a travel editor at Better Homes & Gardens. Utne Reader was nominated for the National Magazine Award for general excellence three times during his years as editor. His article about the revitalization of Romanian villages was picked as the Idea of the Day in the New York Times Online. He's written three cover stories on sustainable tourism for National Geographic Traveler. Savannah State University awarded Jay the Robert S. Abbot Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications.
He has been quoted on contemporary issues in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and NPR.
Jay's articles have been published in National Geographic Traveler, AARP Bulletin, The New Statesman, San Francisco Chonicle, Planning, Chicago Tribune, The Nation, Planetizen, Midwest Living, Preservation, Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Toronto Star, Australian Financial Review, Mother Jones, Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Yes! Magazine, Citiwire, Rock & Rap Confidential, Resurgence and other publications.
Jay has been a speaker at the UNESCO International Conference on Creative Tourism; the Chicago Architectural Foundation; the Great Places Conference sponsored by the state of Iowa; The Tom McCall Society Lecture in Portland; the What's the Economy For conference in Washington, D.C.; the Meredith Lecture on Communications at Drake University; the Smart Growth Summit in the Louisville area; the Trinity Cathedral Lecture Series in Cleveland; the Mayor's Symposium on Sustainability in Winnipeg; the Great Lakes Bioneers conference in Michigan.
Strategic communication is another of his skills, and he has been involved in developing publicity, messaging and publishing efforts for On The Commons, Project for Public Spaces, the Bikes Belong Foundation, Transit for Livable Communities, Citiscope and other organizations. He wrote the annual report for Friends of the Mississippi River, a report on local food initiatives for the McKnight Foundation, a Ford Foundation-funded report about the Coalition for Livable Future in Portland and a report on rural transportation for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Communications & Community Consultant
Project for Public Spaces
"A lot of what I think about how cities grow comes out of reading, and talking with, Jay."
— R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, 2002-2014
The Great Neighborhood Book
Jay Walljasper performs the greatest of services with this book. It is—choose your metaphor—a bracing slap across the face or the kiss that breaks an enchantment. In either case, after reading it you will be much more alive to the world as it actually is.
— Bill McKibben,
best selling author