Gehl’s work is based on the human dimension – the built environment’s effect on social interaction between people. Lively and widely used public space areas are considered to be important keys to quality in cities and to overall wellbeing.
Public spaces can also assist in making healthier choices, an easier choice by allowing people to integrate physical activity into their everyday routines by walking, biking or taking transit.
Gehl takes a holistic view to strategic planning, mediating between typical silos of disciplines to ensure that urban interventions are rooted in a comprehensive understanding of how the specific urban space is used.
Regardless of the complexity of a project, the process always begins with people. Gehl measures how the city is performing for people to provide guidance for planning, empowerment and design. The vision is to create resilient places that are livable today and sustainable tomorrow. Gehl’s clients share a common long-term commitment to holistically yet incrementally respond to people’s needs to improve the environment in which people live.
The study of people’s well-being lays the foundation for Gehl’s strategic planning and design, beginning with: first life – then space – and finally buildings. Gehl’s design solutions begin with formulating a vision and a comprehensive program of activities based on the type of life – its activities and attractions – that are inherent in a given area. The next step is to develop a public space network that can support the public life through scale, form and climate. Finally Gehl envisions how buildings can contribute to the consultancy’s aspirations for public life in terms of height, massing and scale as well as their functions and interaction with the public realm.