Copenhagen Wasn’t Always The Most People Friendly City In The World

Copenhagen Mastermind Jan Gehl Isn’t Sold on ‘Smart’ Cities

 APR 30, 2018

“Architect and planner Jan Gehl looks back on how he helped transform Copenhagen into one of the world’s most livable cities and talks about how people can reclaim the streets.”

It’s about phases.

“…Gehl discusses his observations and philosophies of how cities can become as bike-friendly, people-friendly, and climate-friendly as Copenhagen famously is.:

A cyclist rides past autumn-colored ivy climbing the wall of a building in downtown Copenhagen November 2, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong (DENMARK – Tags: ENVIRONMENT TRANSPORT SOCIETY) – GM1E6B21TQG01

Phases in Copenhagen-it starts with walking:

“I would say that the public space in Copenhagen progressed in phases. The first phase was to make it possible to walk. That was the period of the pedestrian street, the “Fußgängerstraße,” which lasted from 1960 to 1980. The next period, from 1980 to 2000, was the period focused on sitting and staying. It was the time when all these squares were freed of parking and all the pavement cafés started popping up—the expansion of the cappuccino culture. That coincided with having more leisure time—you are not just rushing out to work or to shop. This culture has been in the Mediterranean countries all the time, but after the 1980s and ‘90s, it really spread worldwide. Next is phase three. That is not about walking or sitting, but being active. It is about places for roller skating or running or bicycling or swimming in the harbor.”

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