Jan Gehl is Pulling New York's Strings

The man behind the plan? Danish urbanist Jan Gehl has been quietly working behind the scenes on New York's transformation to pedestrian paradise.

Gehl spoke at a sold-out event at New York's Center for Architecture, accompanied by NYC planning bigwigs Amanda Burden and Janette Sadik-Kahn. In her introduction of Gehl, Burden noted:

"We used to say we plan at the scale of Robert Moses, but we judge ourselves by the standard of Jane Jacobs," she said. "That's not really true anymore. We judge ourselves now by Jan Gehl's standard."

Katharine Jose walks us through Gehl's presentation, which was centered on his new book, "Cities for People.":

"The four issues with which Gehl approaches city planning are liveliness, safety, environment and health. If people are walking or biking, he says, all four are accomplished, because there are crowds in the streets and places that cater to them, those crowds provide safety, reducing the use of cars improves air quality and environment, and of course walking is good for you."

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