Talking Headways Podcast With Special Guest Jan Gehl

Photo courtesy of Island Press
Photo courtesy of Island Press

Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl, who led Copenhagen’s turn away from car-domination toward streets and public spaces for people, is on a U.S. tour. I got to sit down with him this week in Washington.

Where traffic engineers count cars, Gehl and his colleagues count people. So instead of telling city officials to widen roads, they propose to widen sidewalks, build bike lanes, and create beautiful public spaces.

“If we make better conditions for walking and public life, or if we make better conditions for bicycling, we can see that these things are favored,” Gehl told me. “And that’s exactly what they’ve done in Copenhagen. They’ve actually turned down the cars for quite a while and upstepped the bicycle facilities.”

In this episode of Talking Headways, you can hear Gehl in his own words about everything from his assertion that “the tower is the lazy architect’s answer to density” to the Moscow mayor’s hyper-efficient way of getting people to stop parking on Main Street.

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  • Thought Leader

    Where’s he speaking on his U.S. tour?

  • I checked with Island Press and apparently the only other speaking engagement he has is in Berkeley: http://sf.streetsblog.org/2014/02/03/jan-gehl-lecture-and-discussion-places-for-people-transit/. You can catch Jeff Wood if you go! Bummer he’s not speaking in NYC; I know he was passing through there too, and excited to ride Citi Bike.

  • Joe Linton

    This is a great episode! Gehl is awesome, and the commentary and dialogue really help break it down. Keep up the great work.

  • Cordell

    thanks for this…I’m pretty excited to see him speak tonight at Berkeley.

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