This August, join Gehl Institute and Gehl in Copenhagen for our Tools for Change Masterclass. We’ll learn how putting public life at the center of a design approach leads to better solutions for mobility, equity, resilience, and other pressing urban issues. Over the course of three action-packed days, you’ll participate in walking and biking tours, informative workshops, and jam sessions about solving design problems through the study, measurement, and observation of public life. Register here.

During this masterclass, you will hear from partners, designers, researchers, and planners at Gehl and Gehl Institute, joined by local experts from various fields, on how we shape the role that design, policy, and governance play in enhancing all scales of the public realm – from the monumental to the everyday, including civic plazas, neighborhood parks, sidewalks, transit stops, and even your workplace. Underlying our approach is the desire to create a more open city in which everyone can access, enjoy, and participate in a vibrant public life.

The theme “Intersections” highlights how public life is a critical aspect of the urban issues we seek to improve. From a human-centered design approach, we will learn how to use a suite of tools that can inform the way we advocate for better urban spaces in our neighborhoods of work, leisure, civic gathering, and everyday life.

Participants are eligible to receive AICP Credits for completing this course.

Schedule Outline:

Day 1: Introduction to Studying Public Life

Experience a warm welcome and meet your hosts and each other. Start to learn about the public life measurement tools developed over the past five decades by Jan Gehl and Gehl the practice. Step into the field with an urban safari, visiting public spaces in Copenhagen and applying some of the tools in the context of Copenhagen’s vibrant history. Enjoy a keynote speech on “The Human Dimension” — the importance of the human body as a starting point for measuring public life. A reception with the Gehl family will close the day.

Day 2: Investigating the City

Begin the day with reflections and reactions to using the public life tools. We will dive into some frameworks on Inclusive Healthy Places, Climate Adaptation in Public Life, and Young Children in Cities. In the afternoon, on an urban safari via bicycle, we will think about applying these frameworks to more of Copenhagen’s public life as we learn how cycling is about more than just the bike. Conclude with dinner at the harbor.

Day 3: Creating a Vision for Change

Wrapping up the masterclass, explore how studying and observing public life can change hearts and minds in your community with respect to the challenges you seek to address. A final jam session with your colleagues and invited experts will leave you armed with actions for making change happen in both the short and long term. Guest lecture to be announced.


Location & dates


Vesterbrogade 24, 5th Fl

Copenhagen, Denmark

August 22-24


€2,000 (includes some local transportation, meals, and reception)

€1500 for a limited number of seats reserved for non-profit and government participants


Spots are limited. Reserve yours here