Tag Archives: Sia Kirknæs

Cycling in Chennai - a daring adventure.

What is cycling like around world? We chose Chennai in India as our first stop on Gehl Architects new adventure: Cycling in Cities. Take a look at this trip around T-Nagar and Panagal Park, the major shopping area, in Chennai. Henning Thomsen of Gehl Architects is wearing the helmetcam on this trip.

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Henning Thomsen, Gehl Architects, in Chennai on Mahesh Radhakrishnan's bicycle, and wearing the helmet cam.

Also check some of our pictures from the trip:

Ready to count!

Today was day two of the Public Life Public Space survey workshop carried out by Gehl Architects for ITDP, Institute for Transport and Development Policy, and Chennai City Connect in Chennai. The morning started with an introduction by the three Gehl Architects staff – Sia Kirknæs, Lars Gemzøe and Henning Thomsen – to prepare the workshop participants for the first excercises dealing with counting public life.

Lars Gemzøe, Gehl Architects, introducing the theme of the day: counting pedestrians.

Sia Kirknæs, Gehl Architects, explaining some of the challenges faced when counting pedestrians

Counting seems like an achievable task. But to be succesful the public life part of the Public Life Public Space survey requires substantial preparation and planning – getting to know the city and the survey area, choosing the proper locations, time of week and day, and actual position in the streets surveyed. But it also requires the ability to make swift decisions and to be focused and consistent. These and many more skills were trained in todays workshop, where the participants themselves tried to count pedestrians and to note down the basic variables of age and gender – which for the age part can be as challenging as counting pedestrians itself can turn out to be for the unprepared and untrained.

Pedestrian #1 - the counting has begun!

Keeping calm and focused and keeping count!

Comparing counts - but why did we not get to the same result? Counting is not the easiest of tasks it turns out.

Discussing discrepancies and sharing solutions.

Sampling pedestrians age and gender - focus is required, when both genders walk by at the same time in opposite directions and all the data needs to go down on paper!

Surveying staying activities

Comparing notes


Ranganathan St, T-Nagar, Chennai, India

Part of any Public Life Public Space survey – the core city study method deviced by Jan Gehl et. alli. – is counting people. This may seem a daring endeavour in a country like India, soon to be the most populous nation in the world. But even around busy streets such as Ranganathan Street in the heart of the Chennai shopping area, T-Nagar, this is an integral part of understanding how this part of the city is working. In this case, the counting of people will make it possible to balance the counting of cars and vehicles already performed by the city in their quest to secure more road space – because maybe more road space is actually needed, but for people, not for cars.

The meeting of Ranganathan Street and South Usman Road, T-Nagar, Chennai, India

Gehl Architects are back in Chennai, India, at the request of ITDP, Institute for Transport and Development Policy, to carry out a Public Life Public Space Survey workshop. The aim is to enable the staff of ITDP and of their Chennai partner, Chennai City Connect, to carry out studies of the public spaces and the public life in Chennai, but also in other Indian cities. The workshop will continue the rest of the week and involve both workshops, on-ground excercises as well as two actual survey days.

The workshop participants from ITDP India and Chennai City Connect together with Gehl Architects staff, Henning Thomsen, Sia Kirknæs and Lars Gemzøe

...and Balchand, who took the picture of the rest of us!

Crossing the street from one workshop venue to the other can be a daring endevour in Chennai

Lars Gemzøe, Gehl Architects, sharing four decades of Public Life Public Space research in Copenhagen with the Indian workshop participants

Sia Kirknæs, Gehl Architects, explaining the results from the Public Life Public Space Survey on Sydney to illustrate the data that can be brought forward in such studies

The Times of India reporting about the weather conditions on our first workshop day - good thing the actual survey didn't take place yesterday!

Hobart in Copenhagen

Gehl Architects is working in Hobart, Tasmania – just finalizing a  Public Space and Public Life survey and a strategy for how to make a city with people in mind. The survey is first stage of Hobart Inner City Development Plan

The Public Space and Public Life survey report is focusing on a series of main themes: How to take advantage of and underline Hobart’s unique setting as a city by the sea sitting in a wonderful landscape, how the city can become a fine place for people to move around (more on foot, cycle and transit compared to now), how the public outdoor spaces can be more inviting for all sorts of people and have greater diversity of use. Finally Gehl Architects also look at the quality of the appearance of the streetscapes at eyelevel.

A delegation from the city: Neil Noye, Director Development and Environmental Services, Andrew Tompson, Director City Services and George Wilkie, Manager Architectural Projects spent last week in Copenhagen working with Gehl Architects in a workshop in the office to discuss the draft report in more detail and in particular the recommendations.  The workshop also contained ‘on the ground’ tours of the city of Copenhagen, Malmø, Sweden and Oslo and Bergen, Norway. At Gehl Architects it was primarily Sia Kirknæs, Lars Gemzøe and Jan Gehl who were responsible for the Hobart delegation when they were visiting.

Hobart in Copenhagen

Christchurch, New Zealand, after the recent earthquake

In 2008-09 Gehl Architects was invited to take a critical view on how the public spaces in Christchurch, New Zealand, were perfoming in terms of public life. Sia Kirknæs and Tom Nielsen of Gehl Architects spent several weeks in Christchurch and in the wake of the recent earthquake, that hit the city, they contributed to the local debate with this perspective on the issue of rebuilding:


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