jan gehl: urban visionary
 
jan gehl: urban visionary jan gehl: urban visionary
jul 07, 2010

jan gehl: urban visionary

oslo harbour front regeneration by gehl architects with behnisch & transsolar, 2008 all images courtesy of gehl architects

danish architect jan gehl‘s work has influenced the street culture and sustainable development of many cities around the world. his most successful and widely-noted work has been the transformation of copenhagen from a car-dominated city to a pedestrian-friendly space, embracing urban cycling as an important part of the city’s culture and identity. his 1971 publication ‘life between buildings’ is still considered to be an important and relevant body of text for any urban strategist today.

the core foundation of his practice is to simply put the people first. a lively and healthy city should encourage the people to use public spaces. by eliminating heavy traffic infrastructure with bike paths, wider sidewalks, and other systems of private mobilization, the city will become a space to inhabit and enjoy rather than just a point of passing.

public space diagrams for the harbour front

car-free times square, new york city urban realm and bicycle strategy, 2009

‘summer streets’, a 7 mile car-free route in new york city, 2009

sydney, australia: public space and public life study

rabat, morocco: new town development framework, 2006

adelaide, australia: urban strategy, 2002

gehl, together with executive director of the institute of transportation and development policy (ITDP) walter hook, recently set out ten keys to building successful cities at new york city’s center for architecture for the ‘our cities ourselves‘ exhibition which highlights the work of ten architects and how they are shaping cities around the world.

the ten principles for sustainable transport:

1 – walk the walk: create great pedestrian environments

2 – powered by people: create a great environment for bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles

3 – get on the bus: provide great, cost-effective public transport

4 – cruise control: provide access for clean passenger vehicles at safe speeds and in significantly reduced numbers

5 – deliver the goods: service the city in the cleanest and safest manner

6 – mix it up: mix people and activities, buildings and spaces

7 – fill it in: build dense, people and transit oriented urban districts that are desirable

8 – get real: preserve and enhance the local, natural, cultural, social and historical assets

9 – connect the blocks: make walking trips more direct, interesting and productive with small-size, permeable buildings and blocks

10 – make it last: build for the long term. sustainable cities bridge generations. they are memorable, malleable, built from quality materials, and well maintained.

these points are all covered in a short book called ‘our cities ourselves: 10 principles for transport in urban life’, an important read for any involved in city design and urban planning. the exhibition is on now until september 11, after which it will travel to china, brazil, mexico and more.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,079 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample