Life Between Buildings - Using Public Space, by Jan Gehl, 1971
first English edition 1987 and new edition in English 2006 and 2011
In the introduction to this edition, Jan Gehl explains that Life Between Buildings was published in the 1970s to point out "the shortcomings of the functionalistic architecture and city planning that dominated the period."
"The book asked for concern for the people who were to move about in the spaces between the buildings, it urged for an understanding for the subtle qualities, which throughout the history of human settlements, had been related to the meetings of people in the public spaces, and had pointed to the life between buildings as a dimension of architecture, urban design and city planning to be carefully treated."
Although the first edition was published over 30 years ago, walking around recent developments on Amager and in the South Harbour area and certainly when walking around the redevelopment of the Carlsberg site, it appears that, even now, too often, the observations set out by Jan Gehl have been forgotten or ignored. There are seats and there is planting but too often these seem to be a token scattering of street furniture rather than reflecting a coherent approach for these areas.