Public Life 101 Webinar

The Public Life 101 webinar series is a free, three-part introduction on collecting and storytelling with public life data.

In April 2018, Gehl Institute hosted its first webinar series: Public Life 101. Over the course of three sessions, we offered an introduction to our tools for studying public life, the philosophy that inspires them, and methods for telling stories with the data. Participants left with a better sense of how to carry out surveys of public spaces, along with helpful tips for organizing volunteers. Recordings of past webinars are accessible below; future webinars to be announced.

101: What is public life? How do we measure it?

At Gehl Institute, we define public life as the social activity that takes place in everyday public spaces. Supporting public life requires working across disciplines, city agencies, and power structures to achieve long-lasting change. This first session discusses the importance of public life and the open-source tools we develop to measure it. Real-world examples give participants a sense of how public life studies have led to tangible public benefits in cities across the world.

Watch the webinar here.

102: Introduction to public life tools

Our public life tools are free, downloadable worksheets available on our website. They can be applied to all sorts of projects in public spaces, helping one gain insight into the quality of the built environment and its ability to support social activity. This second session offers instructions for using the public life tools, as well as recommendations for organizing and executing a survey with volunteers.

Watch the webinar here.

103: Telling stories with public life data

In our third installation of Public Life 101, we discussed how to analyze and tell stories about findings. These stories can help persuade people who allocate resources (city staff, foundations, etc.), spark community enthusiasm for a local project, and much more. In addition to Gehl Institute staff, this webinar featured Jennifer Goold from the Neighborhood Design Center, who discussed her impact evaluation of the YNOT Lot in Baltimore, MD, as well as “Perspectives,” a poem by Michelle Antoinette Nelson, aka LOVE the Poet.

Watch the webinar here.


What webinar themes would be most helpful to your work in shaping public life and public spaces? Let us know! Email