200 pages, 8 1/2 x 10
30 figures, 5 tables, 80 photos
Release Date:15 Oct 2013

How to Study Public Life

Methods in Urban Design

Island Press

Life is unpredictable, complex and ephemeral, so how on earth can anyone plan how life will play out in cities? Studying city life and understanding the factors that encourage or discourage use is the key to designing inviting public space. Studies can be used as input in the decision-making process,  as part of overall planning, or in designing individual projects such as streets, squares or parks. In How to Study Public Life, Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre draw from their combined experience of over fifty years to provide a history of public-life study as well as methods and tools necessary to recapture city life as an important planning dimension. Anyone interested in improving city life will find inspiration, tools, and examples in this invaluable guide.

Jan Gehl is a founding partner of Gehl Architects – Urban Quality Consultants. He is widely credited with creating and renewing urban spaces in cities around the world, including Copenhagen, Melbourne, New York, London, and many others. Birgitte Svarre works as project manager responsible for book publications and is involved in research within Gehl Architects.

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