Home > Appreciated Quotes > Why We Need To Approach The City Like It’s One Big Party

Why We Need To Approach The City Like It’s One Big Party

Monday’s Quote

“A good city is like a good party – people stay much longer than really necessary because they are enjoying themselves”

~Jan Gehl, urban quality consultant & author of “Cities for People”

Gehl is at the leading-edge of planning and building urban spaces designed for people and all of our needs. His approach is to focus on the pedestrians and to plan beyond the ‘necessary activities’, which is only the first of 3 activity categories that make up a ‘Good Quality City’. Those categories are:

  1. Necessary Activities (like when we go to school or work)
  2. Optional Activities (tempting things to do that compete for our attention)
  3. Social Activities (where planned & spontaneous social interactions occur)

The three activities are served best in a safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment.

Gehl’s been mentioned before on MyWHaT and this won’t certainly be the last. He simply has a way of saying things that make sense. He was recently interviewed on The Diane Rehm Show in a show titled “Creating Livable Cities.” It’s worth a listen.

  1. September 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Great way to look at it. We do so much city planning based upon what works for our time in cars, which for most of us is a small percentage of the time we spend in the city.

    I was in Grand Rapids this weekend and got very nostalgic for one thing that we have done very well in Traverse City – the Front Street crosswalks that make shopping and strolling downtown pleasant and slow the traffic down.

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