Characteristics of a Good City: Adelaide

A good city to walk in and to stay in for a while includes:

  • room to walk with dignity, integrity and without overcrowding
  • comfortable climatic conditions – sun and shade depending on the season and protection from the wind
  • pleasant facades at street level to stroll alongside and observe
  • good conditions for people with disabilities and people with prams
  • clear structure in the pedestrian system – it should be easy to find your way around
  • a pedestrian system that connects important destinations
  • ability to promenade through the city
  • good walking rhythm with few interruptions
  • few and short waiting times at intersections
  • many well-placed benches
  • widespread secondary seating – such as steps and edges of planter boxes
  • well-situated cafes and outdoor restaurants
  • beautiful and effective lighting.

A good city for social and cultural exchanges includes:

  • space for cultural activities and communication
  • space for street theatre, clowns and jesters, music and small-scale commercial activities
  • democratic public spaces for all.

A good city for talking, watching and experiencing includes:

  • low level of noise and few disturbances
  • intimate public spaces
  • fine views and good details
  • interesting facades, window displays and exhibits
  • a lively, diverse and safe city to move around in
  • a wide variety of uses both day and night
  • residences to ensure a 24 hour city
  • educational institutions to ensure life and vitality
  • open in the evenings with lit window displays
  • safe places and streets day and night.


Gehl Architects 2002, Public Spaces and Public Life: City of Adelaide 2002, Adelaide.