3Observation

3.1 Introduction

It’s no coincidence that the most influential social studies of modern urban public space have started with street-level observation. Jane Jacobs’ analysis of the American city’s daily ‘sidewalk ballet’ (1961), William H. Whyte’s documentation of the social life of New York public spaces (1980), and Jan Gehl’s ongoing inquiry into human interactions with the urban built environment have all changed the course of mainstream thinking about how cities should work. And as Gehl and Svarre (2013) argue, this has been achieved only by being out on the street, systematically ...

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