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2016 · 10 · 27

Jan Gehl Talk on Changing the Mindset for Urban Planning

The Danish Architect Jan Gehl, one of the most influential thinkers in contemporary urban design, will be at Danish Cultural Center to speak about the necessary change of mindset in city planning. 


For more than 50 years, Gehl has advocated a sensible approach to improving urban design on the basis of human scale. In Gehl’s thinking, human scale concerns the activities that we undertake in public life.
They are either necessary, optional and/or social activities. The necessary activities are the domestic tasks that we must undertake in everyday life, optional activities are what we choose to do if the conditions are favorable, and thirdly, social activities that develop as a result of people undertaking necessary and optional activities being in the same place.
These three kinds of activities occur in a finely interwoven pattern, and intertwine in all conceivable combinations and allow for contact and encounters at many different levels. In the way you enter a theatre with the expectation of experiencing a dramatic performance, good urban space adds to the vitality and interest of a street, and provides constant distractions that in turn creates other forms of activities or interactions.


On the occasion of the official Chinese launch of his book How To Study Public Life, Jan Gehl will speak on how changes to the physical environment can impact on the sustainability, liveability and quality of life of city dwellers.
The talk will take place Saturday October 29, 2016, from 14.00 at Danish Cultural Center.
The book launch itself will take place after the lecture. People visiting Danish Cultural Center will then have the possibility to purchase a freshly printed copy of How To Study Public Life in the stand of China Architectural and Construction Press. One book for 78 RMB.

Gehl published his influential Life Between Buildings in Danish in 1971, with the first Chinese translation published in 2002. Since then, he has published the following books in Chinese: Public Spaces Public Life, 2003, New City Spaces, 2003, and Cities for People, 2010 and now How To Study Public Life, all on China Architectural and Construction Press.


Since 2008, Gehl has collaborated with Energy Foundation, China Sustainable Transport Centre on case studies in a number of Chinese cities to implement the concept of Cities for People and the spin-off in terms of better life quality for the citizens.
Danish Cultural Center will host two concurrent exhibitions from October 29: Changing Mindsets on Jan Gehl’s 50 years of research and methodology for improving cities, and Changing Cities on Gehl’s work in China.


Changing Cities in 5 Steps & Changing Mindsets

Exhibition time: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-18.00