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#Foreword Friday: Studying Public Life Edition

In celebration of Planetizen's top ten books published in 2013, this week we'll take a look at Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre's new book: How to Study Public Life. From Planetizen:
With all the attention paid by planners and urban designers today to implementing the current theories on what makes places vibrant and popular, it is surprising how little time is invested in actually going out and watching how people use such spaces. Jan Gehl has always been at the forefront of the study of human behavior in public, and his book Life Between Buildings -- published in 1971 -- is still incredibly relevant today. So what does How to Study Public Life add to Gehl's legacy? This book fills a gap in the literature by providing a method to do exactly what the title says. Gehl (and co-author Birgitte Svarre, a project manager at Gehl Architects) detail proven methods of data collection that don't require fancy apps or smartphones, relying instead on patient observation and painstaking notes. This type of detailed evaluation - usually called "post-occupancy evaluation" in the field of architecture - often reveals significant patterns over time that the casual glance fails to notice. Gehl is an unassuming but essential guide to this criminally underutilized method of analysis.
Check out the except below from the foreword and chapter 1 of, How to Study Public Life Use code PLANETIZEN at checkout at for free shipping and 25% off!