Sustainable transport

Sustainable transport

Jan Gehl walks to promote vibrant cities

There is no greater ambassador for walking than the visionary architect who helped create Sustainable Sydney 2030 – our main strategy that’s transforming Sydney into a greener, more global and connected city.

World-renowned urban designer Jan Gehl is the brainchild of the long-term strategic plan, which made the case to pedestrianise George Street, bring inner-city laneways to life and make Sydney a walking and bike-friendly destination.

The 80 year old still vividly remembers his first walk around Sydney.

“There’s nothing more glorious than to feel a city through my feet. Sydney has always been a great city, but for too long it put cars before people and there was so much potential to create more walkable streets, great public spaces and a vibrant, green heart,” Jan says.

A decade later – many of his ideas have been put into action, with construction of light rail underway and the upgrade of 20 laneways already completed.

“I am so pleased to see a pedestrianised George Street under construction, laneways that are now celebrated not feared, and more trees, parks and open spaces than ever before.”

Professor Gehl was recently awarded the key to the city, in recognition of outstanding international work and impact on Sydney. His revolutionary approach is all about prioritising people and quality of life over architectural style and it’s helped radically transform his hometown of Copenhagen, along with other major cities including New York, London, Moscow, San Francisco, Melbourne, Shanghai and Amman.

“Reducing speeds and removing cars help radically transform cities and encourage more people to walk and explore," Jan says.

Photo courtesy of Sandra Henningsson

Last updated: Thursday, 23 March 2017