The human scale is investigated with a series of ten examples of cities from Hong Kong, China,New York,Copenhagen, Dhaka and Melbourne
The film starts with noting 50 % of the world’s population lives in urban areas and by 2050 this will increase to 80%.
Life in a mega city is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face peak oil, climate change, loneliness and severe health issues due to our way of life. But why? The Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl has studied human behavior in cities through 40 years. He has documented how modern cities repel human interaction, and argues that we can build cities in a way, which takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account.
This is the main thrust of thinking that drives Gehl and his associates: by building cities that encourage citizens to reclaim public space, the city (and even megacity) can become a more inhabitable space for humans.
He also uses statistics eg How many people pass this street throughout a 24 hour period? How many percent of those are pedestrians? How many are driving cars or bikes? How much of the street space are the various groups allowed to use? Is this street performing well for all its users?
Jan Gehl made his first studies in Italy and later he inspired the planning of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, for 40 years. His ideas inspired the creation of walking streets, the building and improvements of bike paths and the reorganization of parks, squares and other public spaces throughout this city and in many other cities in the Nordic region. Around the world cities like Melbourne, Dhaka, New York, Chongqing and Christchurch are now also being inspired by Gehl’s work and by the developments in Copenhagen.