busy street with cars and pedestrians in India

The Human Scale

The Human Scale juxtaposes the urban experiences of cities across the World to raise questions about the costs of modernity and to argue in favor of city planning that reclaims the public realm for social life. This new approach to planning is measured by walking distances, social interactions, and social inclusion, rather than vehicle speeds and parking spaces.

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Course Info

  • Duration 6 video lessons (81 Mins)
  • Published Published
    2012
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Browse Course Chapters

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    1.
    Introduction
    Chapter Duration 1 min
  • Chapter Locked
    2.
    First We Shape Our Cites, Then Our Cities Shape Us
    Chapter Duration 14 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    3.
    You Measure What You Care About
    Chapter Duration 17 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    4.
    How Do You Do More With Less?
    Chapter Duration 11 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    5.
    Walking Towards a Chaos, Created by Itself
    Chapter Duration 14 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    6.
    It's Very Cheap to be Nice to People
    Chapter Duration 21 mins

Course Description

The Human Scale juxtaposes the urban experiences of cities in China, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and the United States to raise questions about the costs of modernity and to argue in favor of city planning that reclaims the public realm for social life.

The film is a polemic for planning, but a different approach to planning than the kind of planning that built the United States in the 20th century and continues to build cities in urbanizing parts of the world. This new approach to planning is measured by walking distances, social interactions, and social inclusion, rather than vehicle speeds and parking spaces. This new kind of planning, like the case studies examined in this film, is very much a work in progress.

Various research and planning projects by Gehl Architects provide most of the case studies examined by the film. Interestingly, most of the case studies have achieved less than complete implementation. The pedestrianization of Times Square in New York City, for example, was originally planned for a much longer stretch of Broadway in Manhattan. The incomplete aspiration of those projects isn't presented as a failure, however, but as a continued goal to work toward.

Learn these skills

  • Land Use
  • Law and Policy
  • Pedestrian Planning
  • Public Health
  • Transportation
  • Urban Design
  • Urbanism
  • Walkability
  • Zoning Codes

AICP CM

This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.

SACPLAN CPD

This course is approved for 1.5 SACPLAN CPD point.

Thousands have used Planetizen Courses

Well-made film. Great examples and case studies from around the world.
- Lourenço D.
5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review
Very interesting. And visual. Makes a real impact.
- Mary B.
5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review

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