Making Cities Better with Jan Gehl

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

Jan Gehl is an architect and urban consultant who believes that a good city should be like a good party, you might not want to go at first, but once you get there you shouldn’t want to leave. Gehl has helped city planners on at least three continents make their urban centers healthier, more efficient, greener, more productive, safer and more attractive to pedestrians and cyclists. He’s helped make improvements in Copenhagen, Melbourne and Sydney Australia, London and many other cities, including New York (see movies below). But he says the greatest challenges lay ahead as big cities grow in developing countries like China, India and throughout Asia, Africa and South America. Gehl lays out his ideas in the book Cities for People.

Click to visit the website of Jan Gehl’s Copenhagen architecture firm.

Here’s a video interview with Jan Gehl in Times Square before his changes were implemented.
And here’s a video showing the differences Gehl’s suggestions have made in New York.

One Reply to “Making Cities Better with Jan Gehl”

  1. I agree with everything Jan said about what cities should be like, and I like most of the changes in New York. But there is one thing you mentioned that really frustrates me: bike lanes. I am a cyclist and a cycling advocate and instructor, and I must point out that bike lanes are bad for cyclists. They are useless at best, and the vast majority of them are quite hazardous and inconvenient. People often assume that separating cyclists from motorists make things safer, but this assumption is based on a gross misunderstanding of the causes of collisions and the capabilities of cyclists, and it actually creates much more danger than it eliminates.

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