Everyone deserves to feel safe in public space. But oftentimes the design, planning, and especially policing efforts that are meant to improve safety in cities actually deplete residents’ quality of life. Spaces designed to be defensive and uncomfortable to certain groups often become unwelcoming to everyone. Such defensive spaces, in turn, usually fail to attract […]
If you’re familiar with the work of Jan Gehl, you probably know his saying that we should “measure what we care about.” In the case of cities, it’s important to not just measure car traffic or property values, but also the activities of people in public space. By tangibly capturing how people relate to their urban environments, we […]
Racial segregation in U.S. cities is no accident. As historians have extensively documented, our unequal social landscape is in large part the result of specific urban policies, from redlining and zoning to highway construction and suburban incorporation. These are the banal instruments that have shaped economic and health disparities in communities across the country.  […]
Gehl Institute is thrilled to announce the release of A Mayor’s Guide to Public Life, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. There are few greater legacies a mayor can leave behind than investing in public life: the everyday social life of streets, parks and plazas, and spaces between buildings. When […]
It’s well-known that social networks are a major driver of wellness. Less recognized, however, is the role that public spaces play in forging those social connections. Research shows that our common spaces have the potential to strengthen community bonds and expose people to difference, and that even indirect passive social interactions can foster a sense […]
Thank you to all who submitted questions for Open Call: Proposals for Public Life! Please find the question answers below. To indicate your interest in applying for this grant and to be added to the email list please email firstname.lastname@example.org Q&As Is the competition open to teams in non-U.S. cities? No, this specific competition is for U.S.-based […]
Public space matters. Everyone deserves access to inclusive public spaces, whether to spend time with friends, participate in civic actions, or sit alone. Public space is the fabric through which many of us live our daily lives, where strangers can coexist and community bonds can be strengthened. At Gehl Institute, we work to make public […]
Gehl Institute, a recently formed non-profit that creates knowledge and serves as a platform to make public life a driver for design, policy, and governance, seeks an entrepreneurial, get-it-done professional to manage projects and produce compelling content that engages people, from decision-makers to the general public, on issues related to the public realm. Our current […]
I’d like to recognize the loss of a mentor, David Burwell, who passed away on February 1, 2017. Among David’s many professional achievements was the co-founding of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in 1986, which he led for 15 years. The project grew from his observation of his mother’s successful campaign to turn a defunct Cape Cod […]
Gehl Institute, a new non-profit that works to put people first in design, policy, and governance decisions about public space, seeks a civic and social mission-oriented media production company, with a specialization in animation, to produce and create a series of 2-3 minute videos that illustrate how citizens can initiate and carry out projects that […]
As more New Yorkers take to the streets in the coming weeks and months, we see a powerful opportunity, and an urgent need, to make strategic improvements to our public spaces — our civic commons — that would make these vital gatherings of free expression safer, more effective, and even welcoming to all New Yorkers who want to participate in civic action.
We recommend seven steps that your Administration can take to ensure that these events of free expression are welcoming and successful, as New Yorkers come together in greater numbers to celebrate and protect our rights. All of these steps will alleviate pedestrian congestion, and many will alleviate vehicular congestion.
The Human Cities Initiative is kicking off their Human Cities NYC program tonight that “aims to invite diverse perspectives from the fields of government, academia, planning, advocacy, and design to explore what a smart city looks like within the context of New York City and the Human Cities framework.” Our own Shin-pei Tsay is giving the keynote lecture at the Opening Forum tonight. Register here and Join us!
We are thrilled to be participating in the Habitat III Conference this week in Quito, Ecuador. It is an ambitious program that will bring leaders from across the globe to engage in learning and discussion around The New Urban Agenda. Shin-pei Tsay will be representing the Gehl family and speaking at several events. See the Shin-pei’s schedule […]
Gehl Institute has several ongoing research projects on which research fellows can make a significant contribution. Our current projects range from analyzing the role public space and design could play in encouraging more inclusive communities, redefining approaches to public safety in the public realm in typically underserved communities, and social determinants of public health.
This month, Board Chairman Jeff Risom had the opportunity to speak at Volpe as part of their Beyond Traffic speaker series. Transportation infrastructures are the foundation for which we experience a city
Gehl Institute is excited to be a presenting partner in L-ternative Visions, a collaboration between Gothamist and Transportation Alternatives. The open competition offers cash prizes for innovative ideas that offer alternative solutions for the looming shutdown of the L train. Gothamist introduced the competition on their website earlier this week.
Shin-pei Tsay speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in NYC, September 20, 2016. She is offering remarks to start off a session that will discuss the city’s role in promoting health and prosperity for its residents.
Temporary Urbanism and the Resilient City
21st century cities must respond to growing populations, ever-shifting economic conditions, disruptive new technologies, and a changing climate. This discussion will explore long-term impact temporary urbanism is having on the social, economic, and environmental resilience of cities across the globe.
A further sign of Gehl Institute’s commitment to thoughtful research and experimentation, and its desire to foster a new wave of leadership on this issue in the U.S., Gehl Institute just announced the hiring of Shin-pei Tsay as its first executive director. Tsay will lead Gehl Institute to support leaders and communities with meaningful resources and assets that encourage a more equitable, sustainable, and welcoming public life.