June 19, 2017

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design: A Public Life Approach

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.

June 12, 2017

Announcing the Public Life Data Protocol

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.

May 16, 2017

Spaces and Places of Protest

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.

May 1, 2017

A Mayor’s Guide to Public Life!

“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.

April 28, 2017

Health, Equity, and Public Space

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.

April 20, 2017

Open Call Answers

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

February 9, 2017

In Memoriam: David G. Burwell 1949-2017

David’s persistence helped spread the notion that transportation dollars could be used to improve public spaces for people, from trails and city bike lanes to sidewalks and plazas. And it is because of David’s success that we at Gehl Institute believe system change for our public realm is achievable, no matter how daunting the task sometimes seems.

January 24, 2017

Request for Proposals

Gehl Institute 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 promote public life in their communities.