An Interview with Contributing Author, Jan Gehl

An Interview with Contributing Author, Jan Gehl
Jourdan Sayers - Mon Jan 27, 2014 @ 12:25PM
Comments: 8

In an interview with Dave Hill of, contributing author to What We See, Jan Gehl discusses London—it’s streets, cycling, and notion of creating cities for people:

But, despite his impatience with London's uneven progress, Gehl's preference in all areas of his field is for purposeful incremental change. The term "urban renewal" has become synonymous with top-downgrand projets that destroy more than they create and end up being more trouble than they are worth to all but the few who profit from them. Gehl says his company has been involved a several projects to change poorly-designed and maintained housing estates for the better, preferring to replace only some of the dwellings rather than sweep the whole lot away, and concentrating on humanising and re-ordering open areas to correct what he describes as "the modernist mistake" by turning these into "spaces for people to enjoy, rather than voids."

A brief video from the National Building Museum included with this article features Gehl as he attempts to answer the question: What makes a city intelligent? He provides a compelling answer and concludes with a mention of Jane Jacobs—reiterating her approach to community building:

"Jane Jacobs embraced her words and said, “Hey guys if we let these planners and these traffic engineers as they had started we would have made all the great American cities dead instead of them being alive”'

Read the full article here.

Comments: 8


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