Jay Walljasper brings important stories to life.
An award-winning writer, he has reported from 20 countries on subjects ranging from urban planning to economic development to the arts. Lively storytelling, deep research, and vivid accessible writing are hallmarks of his work.
Jay brings the same breadth of skills to editing and strategic communications projects. His work as editor of Utne Reader was honored three times with National Magazine Award nominations in the General Excellence category. Here are Jay Walljasper's specialties and services:
- Articles and blogs for publications and organizations, many of which he widely circulates throughout the media
- Comprehensive reports, books and e-books, which inspire fresh thinking
- Documentation stories showcasing the impact of initiatives and events
- Guides, manuals and "how-to" publications focused on translating ideas into action
Editing + Strategic Communications
- Communications strategies to strengthen messaging, investment, fundraising, publicity and operational capacity
- Editing books, publications, websites and e-magazine newsletters
- Editing, coaching, co-authoring or ghostwriting for clients of all backgrounds and experience
Walljasper is the author of The Great Neighborhood Book (2007), All That We Share:A Field Guide to the Commons (2011), How to Design Our World for Happiness (2013) and America’s Walking Renaissance (2016).
He was the editor of Utne Reader for 15 years, and served as travel editor at Better Homes & Gardens, contributing editor of National Geographic Traveler and executive editor at Netherlands-based Odemagazine. Currently Jay is Urban-Writer-in-Residence at Augsburg College in Minneapolis and Senior Fellow at Project for Public Spaces as well editor of the online Commons Magazine and curator of an e-magazine and website for the Blue Mountain Center arts community.
He has published articles appearing in National Geographic Traveler, Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, The New Statesman (London), Chicago Tribune, The Nation, Huffington Post, AARP, Midwest Living, McKnight Foundation, Toronto Star, Planning, Mother Jones, Philadelphia Inquirer, Notre Dame Magazine, YES! Magazine and Rock & Rap Confidential.
Jay has written stories and documentation for Kresge Foundation, Kaiser-Permanente, Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), CEOs for Cities, Mayor's Institute for City Design, Trust for Public Land, People for Bikes, the Democracy Collaborative, Alta Planning + Design, the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation and many others.
He was Director of Strategic Communications at Project for Public Spaces and has been involved in developing publicity, messaging and publishing efforts People For Bikes, America Walks, Blue Mountain Center Arts Community, Rail~volution and other organizations. Jay also offers editing services and coaches individuals and organizations on communications and storytelling, including the National Geographic Society, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, community revitalization guru Dan Burden and PlaceHolder, a design consultancy.
Communications & Community Consultant
Project for Public Spaces
Mother Earth News
Blue Mountain Center
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
All That We Share - A Field Guide to the Commons (2011)
"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