Cities for people / Jan Gehl.

by Gehl, Jan, 1936-Looking glass.

Publisher: Washington, DC : Island Press, [2010]Description: xi, 269 pages : colour illustrations, maps ; 27 cm.ISBN: 159726573X; 1597265748; 9781597265737; 9781597265744.Subject(s): Architecture -- Human factorsLooking glass | Cities and towns -- Social aspects | City and town lifeLooking glass | City planning -- Environmental aspectsLooking glass | City planning -- Social aspectsLooking glass | Open spacesLooking glass | Public healthLooking glass | Public spacesLooking glass | Quality of lifeLooking glass
The human dimension -- Sense and scale -- The lively, safe, sustainable and healthy city -- The city at eye level -- Life, space, buildings -- in that order -- Developing cities -- Toolbox.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Long loan London College of Communication
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

For more than forty years Jan Gehl has helped to transform urbanenvironments around the world based on his research into the wayspeople actually use - or could use - the spaces where theylive and work. In this revolutionary book, Gehl presents his latestwork creating (or recreating) cityscapes on a human scale. He clearlyexplains the methods and tools he uses to reconfigure unworkablecityscapes into the landscapes he believes they should be: cities forpeople. Taking into account changing demographics and changinglifestyles, Gehl explains how to develop cities that are lively, safe,sustainable, and healthy.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

The human dimension -- Sense and scale -- The lively, safe, sustainable and healthy city -- The city at eye level -- Life, space, buildings -- in that order -- Developing cities -- Toolbox.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

In this fascinating look inside the key architectural factors that determine a city's livability, award-winning Danish architect and author Gehl (Public Spaces, Public Life) examines the factors he deems essential to a successful city. Not surprisingly, places designed without good room for safe walking and biking lead to a sedentary life "behind steering wheel and computer screen." A "lively" city, on the other hand, "counters the trend for people to withdraw into gated communities. serving a democratic function where people encounter social diversity." It's in examining architecture's psychological effects that Gehl truly shines; public spaces without comfortable seating and properly-scaled "talkscapes" evoking Italian piazzas enact a high human toll and greatly impact how the city functions at eye-level. Soaring, dehumanizing architecture has a diminishing effect on the individual, creating a shocking "high-rise" in crime rates. Even those without a professional interest in architecture will be fascinated by the assertions, like "slow traffic means lively cities," that Gehl makes. Coming to the conclusion that "a good city is like a good party: guests stay because they are enjoying themselves," Gehl keeps his latest effort engaging from start to finish. Illus. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Gehl's reputation as a distinguished city planner rests on both his design practice (he has improved urban conditions in cities from Copenhagen to Adelaide) and his writing (most notably Life between Buildings: Using Public Space, CH, Dec'87; first published in Danish in 1971). This most recent publication, replete with color photographs contrasting cheerful cafe-filled street scenes with empty projects, summarizes his important lifelong work on the incremental means by which cities can be made more sympathetic to their human users. With attention to pedestrians' sightlines and to their paths, Gehl identifies those features of the urban landscape that contribute to its habitability. The book is a compendium of observations that are useful, if not particularly novel. Two features of the volume are disappointing. It blames bad cities on the modern masters' interest in buildings and not people, an old trope that is both untrue and boring. More problematically, the cities discussed are almost exclusively wealthy, first world ones. Only 14 pages of the book gesture toward the greatest of the contemporary urban problems--atrocities of the mega-slums (see Mike Davis, Planet of Slums, CH, Feb'07, 44-3572). Summing Up; Recommended. General readers. A. J. Wharton Duke University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jan Gehl is a founding partner of GehlArchitects--Urban Quality Consultants. He is the author ofLife Between Buildings and Public Spaces, PublicLife. He has received numerous awards for his work and is widelycredited with creating and renewing urban spaces in cities around theworld, including Copenhagen, Melbourne, New York City, London, and manyothers.