Interested in seeing Providence develop at a people-centered scale? Join CNU New England for a screening of The Human Scale, a documentary about the work of Danish architect Jan Gehl, at Aurora, 276 Westminster Street on Monday, June 16th. It will befollowed by an in-depth panel discussion with local planning and design experts moderated by CNU Board Member, Russell Preston, about what Gehl’s human-centered message means for Providence. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for the general public. Doors open at 5:30, and the viewing begins at 6.
About the film: The Human Scale questions our assumptions about modern cities, exploring what happens when we use a people-centered approach as the focus of city design. For 40 years, Danish architect Jan Gehl has systematically studied human behavior in cities. His starting point was an interest in people, more than buildings – in what he called “Life Between Buildings.” What made it exist? Why was it destroyed? How could it be brought back? This led to studies of how people use streets, how we walk, see, rest, meet, interact etc. Jan Gehl also uses statistics, but based on different questions: How many people pass this street in a 24 hour period? How many are pedestrians, how many are driving cars or bikes? How much street space is each allowed to use? Are our streets performing well for all users?
Gehl’s early research in Italy helped to transform the planning of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, for the past 40 years. His ideas inspired the creation of highly walkable streets, the expansion and improvement of cycling infrastructure, and the reorganization of parks, squares and other public spaces throughout Copenhagen and across the Nordic region. Today, cities like Melbourne, New York, Christchurch, and Somerville are all taking notice of Gehl’s work that helped make Copenhagen the world’s happiest city.