Work: Tools and Protocol

We develop tools for the study of public space and public life, and host the Public Life Data Protocol: a common language for measuring and comparing information about public spaces.

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Tools and Protocol, Research

Inclusive Healthy Places

How do we know when public space supports health, and when processes that shape public spaces are inclusive? Despite the growing evidence connecting place and health, design and physical activity, the natural environment and mental well-being, and more, there are few available resources to help planners and policymakers identify the kind of real evidence that is needed to help make decisions and fund public space projects that promote individual and community health and well-being.

Tools and Protocol, Public Programs

We Count! Public Life Data Design Sprint

Gehl Institute organizes design sprints for urbanists, coders, civic technologists, designers, and more to develop new ways of collecting, understanding, and designing with open data about people in public space. You can learn more about the events by visiting

Tools and Protocol, Research

Climate Adaptation Planning and Public Life

Public life provides many co-benefits for climate adaptation and resilience projects, such as improvements in environmental quality, social connectivity, and reduction in future risks. Our framework outlines a set of indicators to help define, identify, and quantify the effects of public life on climate adaptation projects.

Tools and Protocol

Public Life Data Protocol

The beta Public Life Data Protocol is a common language for measuring activity in public space.

Research, Tools and Protocol

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.

Research, Tools and Protocol

The Public Life Diversity Toolkit

Gehl Institute developed a suite of tools, research, and training materials focused on the relationship between the design of public spaces and the socioeconomic diversity of the public life they support.