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Public Life Tools

Gehl Institute

This set of simple direct observation and survey tools can be used to evaluate site use in public spaces like plazas, parks, squares, and streets. The tools include Age and Gender Tally, People Moving Count, Participant Survey, and Stationary Activity Mapping. Each tool provides basic instructions and limitations along with worksheets for collecting data via on-site observation, intercept surveys, and/or mapping. The Age and Gender Tally tool helps the observer estimate number of people in the selected area and their approximate age and gender. The People Moving Count tool allows the observer to record how many people move through the site and their mode of movement. The Participant Survey tool recommends intercept survey methodology and provides a survey to collect information on visitor perceptions and site use. The Stationary Activity Mapping tool helps the observer map different activities taking place on site during a specified time. These tools are best used both before and after the design intervention to evaluate changes in site use and should be executed with thoughtful consideration to limitations related to number of observation sessions and the weather, time of day, day of the week, and season on observation days.


Recreational & social value, Transportation, Access & equity, Placemaking

The LPS Fast Fact Library is a collection of short summaries of landscape benefits derived from published research. The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) compiles and writes the Fast Facts. LAF has no involvement in the data collection, analysis, review, publication, or funding of the research. If you have questions or comments on the Fast Fact Library itself, contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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