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Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space [Paperback]

Jahn Gehl
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 25.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Mar 2011
The first Danish language version of this book, published in 1971, was very much a protest against the functionalistic principles for planning cities and residential areas that prevailed during that period. The book carried an appeal to show concern for the people who were to move about between buildings, and it urged an understanding of the subtle, almost indefinable - but definite - qualities, which have always related to the interaction of people in public spaces, and it pointed to the life between buildings as a dimension of architecture that needs to be carefully treated. Now 40 years later, many architectural trends and ideologies have passed by over the years. These intervening years have also shown that the liveliness and liveability of cities and residential areas continues to be a important issue. The intensity in which fine public spaces are used at this point in time, as well as the greatly increased general interest in the quality of cities and their public spaces emphasises this point. The character of life between buildings changes with changes in any given social context, but the essential principles and quality criteria to be employed when working with life between buildings has proven to be remarkably constant. Though this work over the years has been updated and revised several times, this version bears little resemblance with the very early versions, however there was no reason to change the basic message: Take good care of the life between your buildings.

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Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space + Cities for People + The Image of the City (Harvard-Mit Joint Center for Urban Studies)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 6 edition (31 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597268275
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597268271
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jan Gehl is a founding partner of Gehl Architects - Urban Quality Consultants. He is the author of Life Between Buildings and Public Spaces, Public Life. He has received numerous awards for his work and is widely credited with creating and renewing urban spaces in cities around the world, including Copenhagen, Melbourne, New York City, London, and many others. He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and inspiring 1 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the book accidentally at university and was paying a great amount of money to the library when forgetting to return the book back to the library over and over again. I had to buy my own, finally.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A major work in understanding city spaces 26 Jun 2013
Gehl's book, a revised classic since the early 70's, focuses not on buildings but on the life between the buildings: how people move, play, interact in different cityscapes. Contrasting medieval plazas with big concrete architecture and using examples from the various Nordic capitals, he shows how people move between buildings with different levels of social interaction from necessity to idleness, depending on the spaces they move in. Schematics on Italian renaissance towns interact with 60's architecture and newer examples.
For me, the lessons of this book has become the code to use when trying to understand the charms of the cities I visit and the neighbourhoods I don't visit due to having no charm at all. Not an architect or anywhere near, I still found it one of the most interesting reads of many years, and would recommend this book to anyone interested in cities, in travel, in human interaction.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Between Buildings 29 Oct 2007
By cortezhill - Published on Amazon.com
Few books - if any - have had a stronger impact on Scandanavian architecture and planning in recent years than this one has had.

Jan Gehl, senior lecturer in urban design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architectiur in Copenhagen, has widely and extensively studied how people use public spaces and how planning and architecture encourage or discourage social activities and public life.

His strong advocacy and detailed proposals for a humanistics approach to architecture, as presented in this book, is now available for the first time in English.
--- from book's back cover
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gehl's Research is an excellent mix of Environmental Psychology and Urban Planning 30 Mar 2009
By A. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
This is a fantastic book, putting substance and quantitative research behind urban planning. It isn't about the art of urban design, but how spaces are actually used, why, and what designers can do to improve cities.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thing about the spaces we inhabit and use 15 Sep 2009
By Tech & Nature - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
needed this for my studio class. The principles are old, but classic and still appropriate for today. For anytime. Timeless, I guess.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good information 1 Nov 2013
By Leon Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helpful, with a lot of current thought. Recommended for people who
design and work with public spaces...parks etc.
Good reading
5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL READING 27 Oct 2013
By William Watt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone who calls him/herself an urban planner or urban designer needs to be familiar with the work of this author.
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