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Cities for People

ISBN: 9781597265737
AUTHOR: Jan Gehl   
PUBLISHED BY: Island Press   September 2010
COVER: Hardcover
FORMAT: 25.40x19.30cms
PAGES: 269
LANGUAGE: English
PRICE: $119.95

For more than 40 years Jan Gehl has transformed urban environments around the world based on his research into the ways people actually use, or could use, the spaces where they live and work. He was recently in Auckland talking to urban planners, architects and local body staff. In this revolutionary book, Gehl presents his latest work creating (or recreating) cityscapes on a human scale. He explains the methods and tools he uses to reconfigure unworkable cityscapes into landscapes he believes they should be: cities for people. Taking into account changing demographics and changing lifestyles, Gehl emphasises four human issues that he sees as essential to successful city planning. He explains how to develop cities that are lively, safe, sustainable, and healthy. Focusing on these issues leads Gehl to think of even the largest city on a very small scale. For Gehl, the urban landscape must be considered through the five human senses and experienced at the speed of walking rather than at the speed of riding in a car or bus or train. This small-scale view, he argues, is too frequently neglected in contemporary projects. In a final chapter, Gehl makes a plea for city planning on a human scale in the fast-growing cities of developing countries. A “Toolbox,” presenting key principles, overviews of methods, and keyword lists, concludes the book. The book is extensively illustrated with over 700 photos and drawings of examples from Gehl’s work around the globe. In a global perspective the book summarises more than 50 years of research, studies and projects dealing with urban life and the relation between cities and people. The fact that the book will be published in Danish, English and Chinese simultaneously, which for any book on urban planning is an astounding fact, underlines the importance this book carries with it. Among several, Lord Richard Rogers has endorsed the book: ‘No one has examined the morphology and use of public space to the extent that Jan Gehl has. Anyone who reads this book will get a valuable insight into his astonishingly perceptive understanding of the relationship between public spaces and civic society, and how the two are inextricably intertwined.’
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