Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quote of the day: Jan Gehl

"An endless number of green buildings doesn't make a sustainable city."
-- Jan Gehl, from "Taking it to the Streets," an interview in Greensource Magazine. From the article:

GS: Which should come first, a cycling-friendly culture or the infrastructure to support cycling?

JG: You wouldn't get the culture if you don't have the infrastructure. In Sydney, the city is full of informative posters about how biking and walking improve conditions for the climate and human health, linking the bike lanes very clearly to saving the world. That could be a good idea in New York; not only to put in the lanes but also to explain why. You do it for mankind, not to harass anybody in particular. ....

GS: Do you think building-certification schemes like LEED are doing enough to address these issues?

JG: I have a saying that an endless number of green buildings doesn't make a sustainable city. To make our buildings green five-star or LEED-Gold is fine, but not enough. We have to get the cities to change their ways. If you pay attention to the smaller scale, inviting people to walk and bike, you get a more lively and livable city, a safer city, a more sustainable city. It's a much healthier lifestyle to have people use their muscles in their day-to-day life. There's so much to be gained with making people-oriented cities. So what are we waiting for?

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