The City at Eye Level

Human scale

Public space quality is the backbone of a sustainable city. Great streets, places where you intuitively want to stay longer, human scale interaction between buildings and streets, ownership by users, placemaking and good plinths (active ground floors) and a people-centred approach based on the user’s experience – that is what The City at Eye Level is all about.

 

The book

We help cities develop these places, in collaborative networks throughout the world. The second edition of our open source book has been developed with 90+ co-authors, and put together in partnership with the UN Habitat, Future of Places, Project for Public Spaces, Faculty of Planning of the University of Porto Alegre, Copenhagenize and Gehl Architects. The book is available in English and Portuguese. It is networked, dynamic and open source.

 

Plinths

One of our focuses is how buildings contribute to public space. Public space should be dealt with as a 3D-experience, not only the 2D horizontal surface. It is everything you experience as a pedestrian. The most important part of the building is the “plinth”: the ground floor. It is a building’s most crucial part for the city at eye level. What do you as a pedestrian experience when you look around? Do the buildings, their use, and their design make an attractive urban environment where you feel at home? Do the plinths connect with pedestrian flows in the urban area? What are good functions for plinths?

 

Places

Another important focus is placemaking. In Italy everyone knows what a piazza is. It’s the gathering place where people come together. It’s a way of life. People are deeply attached to their local piazza. That’s the feeling we’re trying to create. Placemaking is about that deep attachment. It’s more emotional. Just as the piazza is the place to gather in Italian neighbourhood, placemaking has become a way of life. People want to live in a place and cherish it. They want to participate and connect with other people.

 

Community for Action

With our local and worldwide network partners, we co-create city0wde strategies for great human scale streets and places; set up strategies for new city development; help change existing streets and districts; organize workshops to co-create with the local network; set up street coalitions and place management; give lectures and organize training programmes and masterclasses.