The Human Scale – A documentary on urban development

We’ve decided we would like to include a movie blog this week; a documentary inspired by the respected work of Jan Gehl and his team of architects and urban designers.

The Human Scale is an in-depth look into the influence the way we build our cities has on people’s lives. It is about designing spaces for human beings, offering a view on where we’ve gone wrong and where success can be achieved. Activist Mark Gorton goes as far to say “we’ve made our own human living environment deadly for people”. Surely that’s not a path we want to continue on.

Jan Gehl, a Danish architect and professor, might be best known to Wayfinding Forum regulars as the man contracted by the City of Sydney to help transform its urban landscape, but this is only a recent addition to a career spanning over 40 years. He has received awards and recognition for his work in London and New York as well as other cities across Australia and in New Zealand. He is also well known for documenting how modern cities repel human interaction, arguing that we can build cities in a way which takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account.

The documentary describes life in a mega city as both “enchanting and problematic” citing peak oil, climate change, loneliness and severe health issues amongst our current challenges. It states that on the whole this is caused by “our way of life”, but Gehl offers an alternative solution.

Take a look at the trailer, and then see the film to decide for yourself.

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