Creating People-Friendly Streets

Creating People-Friendly Streets (Gotham Gazette, November 2007): Against this backdrop, many West Side residents and elected officials believe the time has come to reclaim the streets as public space. In November, several hundred people filled the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan to hear Jan Gehl, the Danish urban planner renowned for humanizing the streets of Copenhagen, London and dozens of other cities. Gehl’s talk launched the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance, a campaign to radically reconfigure the streets led by Transportation Alternatives, the Project for Public Spaces and the Open Planning Project.

Gehl is working as a consultant for the transportation department. With a team of volunteers, he conducted studies of how the streets are used in various parts of the city and made recommendations for supporting “walkability” in public life. [Go, Go!, GO! (Am I enthusiastically for all this? Mmmm, yes!)]

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