Jacque Knight, AICP, has been a vocal advocate for more inclusive transportation systems in St. Louis. She is often invited to various speaking engagements hosted by organizations such as St. Louis Public Radio, the American Planning Association, and the American Public Works Association. Recently, she also served as a panelist for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) St. Louis Think Tank Series on “If Cities Were Built by Women: Shaping Our Future.” Read on to learn about Jacque’s unique insights as both a planner and a mother.
Designing Infrastructure Environments with Empathy
It’s our job as city planning and design professionals to build environments that cater to the needs of individuals across communities, from young children to elderly adults. The traditional approach to transportation planning has been centered around engineering, education, and enforcement – the “E’s” as they are known. My ambition in working with each unique community is to include empathy as a new “E.”
I try to channel others’ first-hand experiences as well as my own to bring an added layer of empathy to the planning projects I work on. As a woman, a caregiver to my two small children, a frequent traveler, and someone who happens to work in the transportation industry, I find value in sharing my lived experience to create environments where everyone feels safe traveling and navigating our cities.
Opportunities in St. Louis
The built forms in most communities today were not influenced by women. However, because of the great strides taken by city leaders to provide a safe, welcoming experience for all citizens and travelers, this is changing for the better. In St. Louis, we are at a critical juncture when defining our future mobility vision. I am so honored that CMT will be leading the City Mobility and Transportation Plan as we work to collectively define this vision and set our mobility values. It is going to be an exciting challenge for our City and for me personally as a City resident, and I’m looking forward to incorporating empathy every step of the way.
Pictured: Erica Henderson, Beth Letscher (ULI St. Louis), Anna Leavey (City Arch River), and Jacque Knight (Crawford, Murphy & Tilly).