12.05.2008

JAN GEHL IN PHILADELPHIA

Reclaiming public spaces once dedicated for cars back to pedestrians is par for the course in Copenhagen. In fact, the common practice there of having bike lanes between parked cars and the curb (vs. between the street and parked cars) is commonly referred to as "the Copenhagen solution."

One of Denmark's great voices on this subject, Jan Gehl, was in Philadelphia this morning, and I caught the front end of his presentation at the Center for Architecture. Sadly, for as tight and walkable as downtown Philadelphia is, there is still lots of room for improvement in terms of being friendly to pedestrians and bikers.

But judging from the size and stature of the audience, there's momentum to make those improvements. For the sake of our physical safety, our aerobic health, our environmental sustainability, and our inherent need to have more eye-to-eye interactions with our fellow man, let's hope so.
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