I enjoyed Mr. Gehl's presentation. It started with a comical look at how we ended up with ugly cities. Some of the causes: architects obsessed with form rather than function, airplane-scale instead of people-scale, infiltration of cars and planners who cater to drivers instead of people. This was the 1950's.
Moving to the 1960's he talked about the effect Jane Jacob
's had with her book "The Death and Life of American Cities". Copenhagen acted on it, but North America and many other places did not. Examples of people-scale urban scenes were shown and wonderful pictures of dedicated bicycle lanes, less asphalt dedicated to cars, streets designed to encourage public interaction, and beautiful, inviting urban areas. I also enjoyed his emphasis on the health benefits and economic benefits of cycling over driving.
I can only hope that someone from Ottawa was there. The Mayor of Gatineau was there. I hope that this presentation will be used to pressure our two municipalities and the NCC to work hard to improve the cycling network in the NCR and implement safe cycling routes through downtown Ottawa. We need these ideas in our city.