A Mayor’s Guide to Public Life!

Website + Book Launch

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 public life is accessible and inclusive, our cities are more vibrant and democratic. Quality public spaces can strengthen community bonds, improve public health, and create opportunities for strangers to rub shoulders.

“A Mayor’s Guide to Public Life” helps leaders achieve tangible public life improvements by offering strategies, resources, and real-world case studies. The material is based on interviews conducted with leading mayors, designers, and practitioners with experience in public space projects.

To assist mayors at any project stage, the guide is broken down into five steps: Measure, Invite, Do, Evolve, and Formalize. Our hope is that, once equipped with this information, more city governments will prioritize public life by incorporating people-centered metrics, robust community engagement methods, and a willingness to experiment into their institutional culture.

Head to https://mayorsguide.gehlinstitute.org to read the strategies or access the complete guide. We’ve also included a fully-editable, downloadable PowerPoint presentation of the featured case studies.

To learn more about the content of and intentions behind the guide, download the official press release here.

Case Study: SplashJAM as catalyst for play (Lexington, KY). Copyright Gehl.

Case Study: The pedestrianization of Times Square (New York, NY). Copyright Gehl.

Case Study: The 16th Street Mall Pilot Project (Denver, CO). Copyright Mark Englert/Gehl.

Case study: “Mayors Night Out/Mayors Night In” (Pittsburgh, PA). Copyright Martha Rial/Next City.

Case Study: Better Market Street and the Prototyping Festival (San Francisco, CA). Copyright Shawn Lani of the Exploratorium.

Case Study: “Metropolis for People” (Copenhagen, Denmark). Copyright Gehl.

PowerPoint presentation available at https://mayorsguide.gehlinstitute.org