News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Monday March 20th 2023

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

city council transportation energy municipalization xcel housing urban planning april fools bicycles climate action density election 2011 affordable housing boulder county open space election renewables agriculture CU local food climate change election 2013 development youth jefferson parkway pedestrian election 2015 preservation Rocky Flats election 2017 recreation BVSD mountain bikes immigration boards and commissions plan boulder farming fracking GMOs transit urban design decarbonization planning board fires colorado politics wildlife land use smart regs downtown architecture new era colorado transit village parking homeless journalism plutonium natural gas ghgs commuting radioactive waste rental coal height limits taxes april fools 2015 walkability historic preservation energy efficiency historic district Neighborhoods diversity zoning population growth growth students North Boulder flood arts gardens education University Hill water supply bus election 2010 solar election 2018 nutrition RTD sprawl water quality election 2012 groundwater bike lane electric utility safety library april fools 2016 renewable energy affairs of the heart organic flood plain wetlands planning reserve zero waste mayor blue line electric vehicle ballot right-sizing street design transportation master plan obama hazardous waste county commissioners politics hogan-pancost longmont colorado legislature climate smart loan diagonal plaza campaign finance flood mitigation bears Mapleton solar panels PV recycling comprehensive plan golden conservation easement epa boulder junction pesticide congestion food drought road diet oil bus rapid transit commercial development inequality election 2016 flooding planning daily camera public health community cycles BVCP ecocycle Newlands automobile PUC climate change deniers children david miller ken wilson sam weaver community league of women voters wind power public spaces boulder creek crime mlk civil rights west tsa marijuana technology arizona Orchard Grove EV green points al bartlett Whittier city attorney

New Urban Network | Cities for People


The biggest mistake in creating public spaces is to make them too large, Gehl says. His motto: “When in doubt, leave some yards out.” …. That rule has often been disregarded by modernist designers, who tend to make buildings and public spaces that are too large for the sensory apparatus of human beings. Gehl has meticulously studied the senses. Cities for People presents illustrations showing that although we can see a person more than 300 feet away, “the experience only becomes interesting and exciting at a distance of less than 10 meters/33 feet, and preferably at even closer ranges where can use all our senses.” It is only when people or buildings or other objects are within 7.5 yards that “all of the senses can be used, all details experienced and the most intense feelings exchanged,” Gehl explains. Thus, buildings that are tall add little to urban livability. Human beings are not naturally inclined to look up, he observes, and even when they do, they can’t get much enjoyment out of what they see above about 44 feet.

Read the entire article at New Urban Network:  Cities for People.


We know more about the habitat of panda bears and mountain gorillas than we do about cities at eye-level. It’s intriguing why so little research has been done on the urban habitat of homo sapiens in urban settings. Since Jane Jacobs, maybe 10 people have studied it seriously: Holly Whyte; Christopher Alexander; Allan Jacobs and Donald Appleyard among them. Ten years ago, we started our consultancy firm to put all of their theories to work. And we’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work. It’s partly a cultural question and partly it’s a matter of biology and what kind of animal we are–how far we can move, and see. Why is it that shops are four or five meters apart on all the good shopping streets all over the world? Because if you’re walking past, there is a new experience every four or five seconds, which is ideal from a stimulus point of view.

Read the entire article at Fast Company: Cities for People: A Q&A With Architect Jan Gehl

Rate this article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)