Monday, July 7, 2008

Hope for Urban Transformation

Copenhagen's urban planning 'rock star' Jan Gehl to revision our streetscapes for a more walkable SF. Read all about it in this SF Chron interview....

"Q: What sparked your interest in improving urban public spaces?

A: Well, I got a degree in architecture in 1960. And then I married a psychologist. And the psychologists I met through her started asking me why I was just interested in buildings and not the people who use them and are impacted by them. So I began looking into the relationship between life and form, how the physical environment affects those who live in cities.

Q: What factors determine if a street can be successfully converted to a pedestrian street?

A: You know, I hate that kind of question because it misses the point. What you want to aim for are high-quality walking routes in your city. Don't just focus on converting one street or another for pedestrians.

Cities that take that approach often end up with short pedestrian streets that are nothing more than open-air shopping malls."

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