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Jan Gehl: Cities for People

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50crowley Avatar
Posted: 12.06.11, 03:19 PM
As a graduate of architecture school and a professional who has worked for a number of firms, I found Mr. Gehl's position puzzling. My architectural education included extensive training in urban planning and I even spent a year travelling through Italy and France to study some of the greatest cities and streets in the world. As I listened to this lecture, I could have sworn I heard my professors speaking through Mr. Gehl as he described many of his case-study design strategies (I heard the EXACT SAME helicopter/airplane analogy half a dozen times while in school). From my experience, I think architecture schools are going in the right direction. The problem is that the field is dominated by architects educated in the 1960-70's (before architects became acutely aware of the consequences of modernism). Thankfully, they will be replace by a more sensitive generation within the next decade (no offense). The issue that need to be addressed more urgently are the civil engineers, urban planners, zoning officials and developers who continue to receive the same car-oriented education from 30 years ago. The reason this is a bigger problem is because they make the LAWS and standards that architects then have to abide by. In other words, you can take all of the best Florentine Villas and place them along the Las Vegas Strip, but it's not going to look anything like Florence. We need to get the people with the authority to determine what cities look like on board. Leave the actual design and construction of buildings to the architects, but don't expect them to save the world.

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