2015 IMCL Lewis Mumford Award to Jan Gehl

Jan Gehl received the 2015 IMCL Lewis Mumford Award at the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol, UK.  As Gehl asserts, "...city life and regard for people in city space must have a key role in the planning of cities and built up areas... caring for people in the city is an important key for achieving more lively, safe, sustainable and healthy cities, all goals of crucial importance in the 21st century."

Well known to lovers of livable cities worldwide, Jan has spent his life studying people in the spaces between buildings – streets and squares. His goal - to understand how the architecture and design of a place facilitates positive social life. He has put this wisdom to good use consulting for cities around the world and teaching the next generation to design and rebuild public places.

The Award reads:

The 2015 International Making Cities Livable

Lewis Mumford Award to

Jan Gehl

for his inspirational leadership in

improving the quality of urban life by designing Cities for People – pedestrians and cyclists


Jan has written many books. His first, Livet mellem husene was published in English as Life Between Buildings in 1987. More recently, Cities for People (2010), summarizes his work over 50 years. How to Study Public Life, written with Birgitte Svarre was published in 2013.

As we make our cities more ecologically sustainable we must place less emphasis on the car and more on the pedestrian. As we make our cities more socially sustainable we must place emphasis on creating a public realm that generates social interaction, community and social capital. And to be truly sustainable into the future, our first priority must be creating an urban public realm that nurtures children’s social development. Through his research, consultation and publications over the last forty years, Jan has been at the forefront of these efforts to create more healthy, livable and sustainable cities. Thank you, Jan, for your invaluable work!