Danish Architect and Urban Designer Jan Gehl is well-known for his book Cities for People in which he emphasizes the importance of pedestrian and cyclist movement inside the cities. Gehl is among the few who have focussed on the psychological aspects of architecture and derives his insights from sociology, psychology, architecture and planning.  With a systems-thinking approach to urban design, he is among the visionary designers of the 21st century who are making a humanitarian impact through his work.

Here are some of the most memorable quotes by Jan Gehl:

  1. Cultures and climates differ all over the world, but people are the same. They’ll gather in public if you give them a good place to do it.
  2. First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works.
  3. A good city is like a good party – people stay longer than really necessary, because they are enjoying themselves.
  4. Only architecture that considers human scale and interaction is successful architecture.
  5. Something happens because something happens because something happens.
  6. I find it striking that the quality of the urban habitat of homo sapiens is so weakly researched compared to the habitats of gorillas, elephants, and Bengal tigers and panda bears in China…you hardly see anything on the habitat of man in the urban environment.
  7. An endless number of green buildings doesn’t make a sustainable city.
  8. Make it nice where you are, and put the density on top.
  9. Nothing in this world is more simple and more cheap than making cities that provide better for people.
  10. If you make more roads, you will have more traffic.


RTF Editorial Team

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