Urbanism's Human Dimension: Looking After the Life of Public Spaces


Contemporary public spaces are a fragile species. People
today use public space not because they have to, but
because they want to. The optional character of much public
life in today's cities places very high demands on the quality
of public spaces offered. Renowned Danish architect Jan
Gehl has developed a method for creating irresistible public
spaces. Gehl’s work builds on systematic recording of how
people use the city — a process that makes people in the
city visible. In this plenary session, Gehl will reveal precisely
how quality improvements in a range of downtowns — from
Copenhagen and Oslo to downtown Melbourne —have led
to impressive increases in the use of public spaces. Gehl
maintains that when quality spaces are provided, people
come. Methods for achieving lively, attractive and safe
urbanistic projects will be the underlying theme.