Gehl Institute is thrilled to announce its first webinar series: Public Life 101.

How can public spaces be made more inviting, joyful, and equitable? What strategies might help designers, planners, and community organizations to put inclusive public life at the heart of their work?

In this three-part webinar, we’ll offer an introduction to our tools for studying public life, the philosophy that inspires them, and methods for telling stories with the data you collect. Participants will learn how to carry out a survey of a public space and helpful tips for organizing volunteers. The webinar is open to all — whether or not you come from a design or planning background.

Public Life 101 is free, but registration is limited. You can register by clicking on the links below.


101: What is public life? How do we measure it? (April 6)

At Gehl Institute, we define “public life” as the social activity that takes place in everyday public spaces. Supporting public life requires working across disciplines, city agencies, and power structures to achieve long-lasting change. In this first session, we’ll discuss the importance of public life and describe the open source tools we develop to measure it. We’ll also offer examples to give participants a sense of how public life studies have led to tangible public benefits in cities across the world. Register here.

102: Introduction to public life tools (April 20)

Our public life tools are free, downloadable worksheets available on our website. They can be applied to all sorts of projects in public space, helping you gain insight into the quality of the built environment and its ability to support social activity. This second session will include instructions for using the public life tools, as well as recommendations for organizing and executing a survey with volunteers. Register here.

103: Telling stories with public life data (May 4)

So you’ve collected data with the public life tools — now what? In our final Public Life 101 session, we’ll discuss how to analyze and tell stories about your findings. These stories can help you persuade people who allocate resources (city staff, foundations, etc.), spark community enthusiasm for a local project, and much more. Register here.

To gain a better sense of what Public Life 101 will cover, and how the tools have been used in the past, check out our public life tools and learn about last year’s Open Call program, where we worked with 3 community design organizations.

Image by Jennifer Gardner of Gehl Institute.