While Jan Gehl’s research on public spaces and public life began in Copenhagen, it was quickly applied to many other cities throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. His ideas and approaches to design for public spaces incorporate the cutting edge of technology without losing sight of what best supports and enhances people’s experience of everyday life in the public realm.
In 1960, Jan Gehl earned his BA and MA in Architecture from the School of Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and began practicing as an architect.
Jan is the author of Life between Buildings, Public Spaces - Public Life, New City Spaces, New City Life, Cities for People (2010) and How to Study Public Life (2013). Both his books Life between Buildings and Cities for People have been published in more than 30 languages. These and many other publications offer a method for evaluating city quality, designing to encourage active use of outdoor space, and discussing the ways our sensory abilities affect our use of space.
In 1992, Gehl received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. In 1993 he won the Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize for exemplary contributions to Town Planning and Territorial Development from the International Union of Architects and in 1998 he received the EDRA/Places Research Award from the Environmental Design Research Association. He is also on the editorial board for Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Urban Design International and Town Planning & Architecture.