Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Urbanist Myth That Just Won’t Die

How is it that we have come to believe that five stories is the optimal building height? This idea, popularized by Danish designer and architect Jan Gehl, is a persistent but flawed concept. Gehl argues that buildings taller than five stories disrupt human interaction and the human-scale experience. However, this view fails to consider the need for abundant housing, especially near transit, which taller buildings can provide. The video specifically examines Montreal but explores ideas applicable elsewhere, emphasizing that urban design must balance aesthetics with practical urban economics to meet the housing needs of growing populations, rather than adhering to an arbitrary height limit.