Friday November 18th internationally acclaimed urban planner Jan Gehl
visited downtown Brooklyn, including Metrotech, Fulton Mall, Atlantic
Terminal Mall, Atlantic Center Mall, and the site of Forest City Ratner's
"Atlantic Yards" plan. He commented on public space and
the transportation infrastructure in downtown Brooklyn.
Jan Gehl is a Danish architect, Professor of Urban Design and Director
of the Center for Public Space Research at the School of Architecture,
Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He is author of several
books including Life Between Buildings and the Public
Spaces and Public Life series. He has designed projects around
the world and specializes in the planning of public spaces.
on Jan Gehl from the Project for Public Spaces
Below are links to photos from the day's tour:
Professor Gehl brings Danish
to the Cheesecake capitol of the world
In the middle of Fulton Mall
Pondering Metrotech's Plan
Surrounded by Metrotech
At Ratner's Atlantic
Pondering "Atlantic Yards"
at Atlantic Center Mall's Target
Some of Professor Gehl's comments upon seeing Frank
Gehry's models for "Atlantic Yards":
Looking at the Frank Gehry design:
"Is that really the plan??! That could only be good from
"Its a series of monuments."
"Its not what should be built in a city like New York"
"This is not an obvious place for an arena." (said with knowledge of
the transportation hub)
"Density in cities is very important, but it can be done well and it
can be done poorly."
on the Gehry plan "These buildings are not human scale, they are designed
for elephants and dinosaurs."
"Often now developers who have large scale development plans hire
'starchitects' for their projects, so that when communities
oppose or criticize the plans, they can then be called philistines or