Copenhagen Needs More Jane Jacobs, Says Jan Gehl
When it comes to new construction in his hometown, the veteran urbanist is not impressed.
FEARGUS O’SULLIVAN Aug 15, 2016 11
Don’t believe everything you read about the influence of Jane Jacobs. When it comes to constructing new neighborhoods, her ideas are largely being ignored. So says Jan Gehl, the groundbreaking Danish architect, urbanist, and self-confessed Jacobs disciple as he reflects on recent development in Copenhagen. In a conversation with CityLab, Gehl argued that when comes to new construction, Denmark’s capital has taken a wrong turn.
“Jane Jacobs’ ideas are widely used in the existing fabric of cities among old structures, where they are used to clean up after the automobile,” says Gehl. “Much has been done, but an area where this knowledge for how to make good structures for people is absent—in Copenhagen or anywhere else—is in new construction. I sometimes make a joke that if we were making a book about great new towns in the 21st century, it would be the thinnest book you’d ever seen.”