Why Celebrate Public Life?

We want to live in cities with vibrant public life. We believe that if our cities supported a great public life for young children and their caregivers, we could have a more healthy, equitable, and just future.

Joyful, inclusive, climate-friendly, and healthy places come in different shapes and sizes. Nobody knows this better than the people that use them every day - which is why we want to hear from you!

Celebrate Public Life invites you to share your public life stories to build collective knowledge about the special places that make life great in cities. Everyone has a story to tell about their neighborhood, favourite public spaces and how they enjoy them. Yet these stories are rarely told to the policymakers, politicians or organizations that shape our cities.

By sharing and crowd-sourcing your input about the places you use, collectively we can make more places that you love.

We seek to use the Celebrate Public Life platform to collect and promote your public life stories

  • To make the case for public life
  • To increase awareness about great public spaces
  • To inform important decisions about public spaces
  • To enable community health, safety, happiness, and connection
  • To remind ourselves and each other that a great city for young children and caregivers is a great city for all people

Who are we?

The Celebrate Public Life Platform and Campaign is co-developed by Gehl and the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The two organizations have teamed up to understand how we can bring our cities' public spaces to life by ensuring diversity, inclusion, and the presence of young children and their caregivers year-round.

People participating in a workshop

Gehl is an urban design consultancy offering expertise in urban design, architecture, and city planning. They focus on creating a better everyday life for all by applying a people-first approach, utilizing empirical analysis, and implementing strategic planning and human-centered design in their work. Gehl is based in Copenhagen, San Francisco and New York City.

Bernard van Leer Foundation is an independent Dutch organisation working worldwide to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a good start in life. We inspire and inform large-scale action that improves the health and wellbeing of young children – especially the most vulnerable – and the people who care for them.

A person holding a small child who is smiling and looking into the camera

The Bernard van Leer Foundation’s Urban95 initiative works with city leaders, planners, architects and engineers to support the healthy development of young children growing up in cities. It is driven by a simple question – if you could experience the city from 95cm – the height of a healthy 3-year-old – what would you change? Our goal is to support healthier, safer, fairer and more vibrant cities for young children and for those who care for them. Because a city that works for babies, toddlers and their caregivers is a city that works for everyone.