There are better ways to get around town

ARTICLE

John Massengale, New York Times, 15 May 2018

New York City’s Department of Transportation has led the American movement for better streets …

The next step is to adopt congestion pricing below 96th Street in Manhattan and then:

1. Decrease the number of Manhattan streets that function as transportation corridors primarily devoted to moving machines through the city.

2. Design and build Slow Zones where people actually drive slowly.

3. Make the transportation corridors that remain better urban places, with a better balance between city life and moving cars.

Tools for measuring public life

TOOLS

Gehl Institute

We offer tools that draw on decades of applied research demonstrating how a walkable human scale is part of what makes cities interesting. The public life tools available on this page will help you measure how people use public spaces and better understand the relationship between those spaces and the public life that takes place in them.

Participatory Budgeting: What are Parisians dreaming about?

ARTICLE

PB Network, 24 Jan 2017

Launched in 2014, Paris implements a successful method of citizen participation. Ideas are developed and submitted on an Internet platform by residents or groups of residents. In 2015, Parisians submitted over 5,000 projects. In 2014, the first year of its operation, over 40,000 Parisians chose 9 winning projects at a cost of 17,7 million €.


To learn more about Participatory Budgeting in the USA click here, and in the UK click here.

Jane Jacobs

PODCAST

Andrew Tuck, The Urbanist, Monocle, 15 December 2016

And really, Jane was the first time where I’d read a critique of cities and it really spoke to me, really resonated, it was incredibly human. It talked about mistakes and failure, it talked about things being imperfect, about things being informal, about the spontaneity, the ballet and dance of life that happens on our city streets.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

DOCUMENTARY

Matt Tyrnauer, Altimeter Films, 2016

Jacobs understood when cities really work they’re phenomena that come from the bottom up. So a great neighbourhood is what happens when thousands of different actors – that’s the shop keepers, bar owners, the people walking the streets – they come together in an uncoordinated, but meaningful way to create the flavour and personality of the distinct neighbourhood. That not ‘planned’, that’s much more a question of organised complexity.

First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works. 

Jan Gehl, architect

We must kill the street. We shall truly enter into modern town planning only after we have accepted this preliminary determination.

Le Corbusier, architect

Streets and their sidewalks – the main public places of a city – are its most vital organs.

Jane Jacobs, journalist

When you operate in an overbuilt metropolis, you have to hack your way with a meat ax.

Robert Moses, public official

What is the city but the people?

William Shakespeare, playwright

The materials of city planning are: sky, space, trees, steel and cement; in that order and that hierarchy.

Le Corbusier, architect

If anybody at any time wanted to pay professionals to make a city planning idea which would kill city life, it could not have done better than what the modernists accomplished.

Jan Gehl, architect

You know, it is life that is right and the architect who is wrong.

Le Corbusier, architect

Designing a dream city is easy; rebuilding a living one takes imagination.

Jane Jacobs, journalist

Those who can, build. Those who can’t, criticize.

Robert Moses, public official