During the first days of the quarantine, we noticed a drastic change throughout the world's cities—streets, plazas, and parks deserted and devoid of life, putting into perspective the powerful effect that humans have on urban spaces. Here, we have compiled a list of projects and spaces that show just how humans bring life to the places they inhabit.
When we look out the window of a plane as it descends, we get an entirely different perspective of the objects on the ground compared to if we were standing still beside them.
From a plane, cars on the highway seem to move in slow motion. Trees that tower in real life look like insignificant green specks. All of a sudden, we see things with a clarity unavailable to us on the ground.
This phenomenon is based on experience. Danish architect Jan Gehl explains the importance of said experience in his work In Search of the Human Scale, where he explains what he calls Brasilia Syndrome, a concept designed by architects that, while aesthetically appealing, fails to take into account distances and how they impact urban inhabitants.
Delving deeper into the issue, Gehl explains architecture as the meeting point between form and life, and a work of architecture that doesn't take into account its users is merely a sculpture.
Studying forms is far too simple compared to the study of life, and it's essential for architecture to draw from other disciplines and professions if it is to meet the needs of those who occupy and utilize it.
The architect concludes that the best scale with which to measure is: At Eye Level While Moving at 5Km/h (3.1 Mph). To provide evidence for this claim, we have compiled a series of public spaces using different dimensions in order to give an idea of how humans impact the places they inhabit.
Location: Porto, Portugal
Area: 102 m²
Location: Moscow, Russia
Area: 450 m²
Location: León, Spain
Area: 800 m²
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Area: 1450 m²
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Location: Mantua, Italy
Area: 2500 m²
Location: Nancagua, Chile
Area: 2700 m²
Location: Muscat, Oman
Area: 5500 m²
Location: Veracruz, Mexico
Area: 6300 m²
Location: Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico
Area: 6300 m²
Location: Paraná, Entre Rios, Argentina
Area: 25200 m²
Location: Tainan, Taiwan
Area: 54600 m²
Location: Mompox, Bolivar, Colombia
Area: 180000 m²
This article is part of the ArchDaily Topic: Human Scale. Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our monthly topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.