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Liveable Cities for the 21st Century

Jan Gehl
Gehl Architects Kopenhagen

Around 1960 the paradigms for city planning were radically changed. Modernism became dominant and the invasion of motor cars took off. In this process the care for the people using cities - looked after for centuries by tradition and experience - was completely left behind. Cities for People became an overlooked and forgotten dimension.

This is the story told by Jan Gehl, founder of Gehl Architects, in his book “Cities for People” (“Städte für Menschen” JOVIS, Berlin 2013) which goes on to describe why looking after people is crucial for the quality of cities in the 21st century. The transformations carried out in Copenhagen, Melbourne, Sydney, New York and Moscow will serve as examples of this new people oriented direction in planning.

Over the years, ‘planning for people’ has served as the corner stone of Jan Gehl and Gehl Architects’ work. The Danish office is working worldwide and has completed recently projects in New York (Times Square, Columbus Circle, Herald Square), Sao Paulo, Brighton / UK, Lille / France. Mayor City improvement projects include Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Riga, Edinburgh, Perth (WA), Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Amman, Cape Town, London, New York and Moscow.
2013 Gehl Architects received Scandinavia’s largest architecture prize.

Jan Gehl is an Architect, Founding Partner of Gehl Architects, and former Professor and Researcher at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. Over the course of his career, he has published several books, including, “Life Between Buildings”, “Cities for People”, “New City Spaces”, “Public Spaces – Public Life”, “New City Life” and most recently “How to Study Public Life”. As part of Gehl Architects, Jan Gehl has collaborated on projects for the cities of Copenhagen, London, Melbourne, Sydney, New York and Moscow, among others. He is an honorary fellow of RIBA, AIA, RAIC, and PIA.

photo©Ashley Bristow

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