Jay Walljasper

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Jay Walljasper is an American writer and speaker. He explores how new ideas in urban planning, tourism, community development, sustainability, politics and culture can improve our lives as well as the world.


Walljasper graduated from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he wrote for the Daily Iowan.[1] He is an Editor at On the Commons.org, Senior Fellow at Project for Public Spaces,[2] and editor-at-large of Ode magazine. He also writes regularly on sustainable tourism issues for the National Geographic Traveler, and is a contributing author for the online news and commentary site New Clear Vision. He was editor of Utne Reader magazine from 1984 to 1995 and 2000 to 2004.[3][4]

Walljasper’s series for The Nation, “What Works?” examined positive initiatives that made a difference in places around the world. His articles have also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Midwest Living, Mother Jones, Preservation, New Statesman (London), Chicago Tribune magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer magazine, Toronto Star, Tikkun, L.A. Weekly, Yes!, E magazine, Le Courrier (Paris), The Idler, Rock N Rap Confidential, Planeta Humano (Madrid), and New Woman (Australia). He was previously a travel editor at Better Homes and Gardens.[5][6]

In 2013, Walljasper was commissioned by the McKnight Foundation to compose an essay for their Food for Thought series addressing future challenges and opportunities in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul region.[7][8]


  • Visionaries, People and Ideas to Change Your Life, with Jon Spayde and Utne Reader staff (New Society, 2001) ISBN 978-0-86571-445-8
  • The Great Neighborhood Book, (New Society, 2007) ISBN 978-0-86571-581-3
  • All That We Share: How to Save the Economy, the Environment, the Internet, Democracy, Our Communities and Everything Else that Belongs to All of Us with Bill McKibben Introduction (2011) ISBN 978-1-59558-499-1


  1. ^ Gentry, Samantha (November 7, 2011). "Writer Walljasper visits Iowa City this week". The Daily Iowan. 
  2. ^ "Jay Walljasper". Project for Public Spaces. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  3. ^ Spayde, Jon (January 12, 2011). "The Commons: Minneapolis author Jay Walljasper on seeking the common good beyond left and right". The Line. 
  4. ^ Mitchard, Jacquelyn (September 1, 1991). "Utne on the Rise". The Milwaukee Journal. 
  5. ^ Gruson, Lindsey (March 27, 1988). "Bimonthly is Distant Early Warning of the Far-Out". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ Lander, Rachael (June 12, 2009). "Public spaces author to lecture on libraries’ importance". The Daily Iowan. 
  7. ^ Walljasper, Jay (July 2013). "Mary Tyler Moore Doesn’t Live Here Anymore" (PDF). The McKnight Foundation. 
  8. ^ "Food for Thought: Mary Tyler Moore Doesn't Live Here Anymore". McKnight Foundation. July 24, 2013. 

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