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The Human Scale (2012)

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Half of the human population lives in urban areas. By 2050, this will increase to 80%. Life in a megacity is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face peak oil, climate change, ... See full summary »


Andreas Dalsgaard
4 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Jan Gehl Jan Gehl ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rob Adams Rob Adams ... Himself
Robert Doyle Robert Doyle ... Himself
Lars Gemzøe Lars Gemzøe ... Himself
Mark Gorton Mark Gorton ... Himself
Iqbal Habib Iqbal Habib ... Himself
Dongquan He Dongquan He ... Himself (as He Dongquan)
Akm Abul Kalam Akm Abul Kalam ... Himself
Abu Naser Khan Abu Naser Khan ... Himself
Hugh Nicholson Hugh Nicholson ... Himself
Bob Parker Bob Parker ... Himself
Khondker Neaz Rahman Khondker Neaz Rahman ... Himself
Jeff Risom Jeff Risom ... Himself
Janette Sadik-Khan Janette Sadik-Khan ... Herself
Ruhan Shama Ruhan Shama ... Herself


Half of the human population lives in urban areas. By 2050, this will increase to 80%. Life in a megacity is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face peak oil, climate change, loneliness and severe health issues due to our way of life. But why? The Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl has studied human behavior in cities through four decades. He has documented how modern cities repel human interaction, and argues that we can build cities in a way, which takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account. 'The Human Scale' meets thinkers, architects and urban planners across the globe. It questions our assumptions about modernity, exploring what happens when we put people into the centre of our planning. Written by Final Cut for Real

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Documentary | News


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Release Date:

21 February 2013 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Den mänskliga staden See more »

Filming Locations:

Denmark See more »


Box Office


$780,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Final Cut for Real See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV) | (TV) (2014)



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in V centru: Adam Gebrian a Respekt Madam (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

Thought-provoking film on an issue of global importance
13 October 2013 | by Chris PlatisSee all my reviews

Just got back from a screening of the film at Hamptons Film Festival. Honestly went because all major features were sold out but WOW–this was an entertaining and informative piece of work that left me and my guests conversing throughout the rest of the afternoon. I'm still left thinking about the subject matter hours later and don't see myself stopping anytime soon. A real thought-provoker, covering important subject matter especially if you're an urban dweller.

Director Andreas Dalsgaard brilliantly weaves through an admittedly budget-limited number of cities (in China, Bangladesh, America, Europe and perhaps most importantly New Zealand) delivering a convincing argument for a more social-minded layout of possible urban planning of the future. His directorial vision is largely based on architect Jan Gehl's social visions of a more communicative urban environment–one where work, live and play are all in close quarters, preventing the isolation of a commuter's life; one filled more with streets for pedestrians rather than roads built for cars.

The film is divided into 5 chapters, each covering a new topic (although all cleverly intertwined to grace his overarching themes of social connectivity in the urban environment), most of which are displayed through the introduction and demonstration of a particular city and its model for urban development. This ranges from the largely bike-accessible and pedestrian-friendly Copenhagen, to capital city Dkaha of Bangladesh where cars are threatening the already harsh living conditions for residents.

As far as documentary is concerned, I thought Dalsgaard did an excellent job of objectively presenting his material and allowing for the audience to interpret his data-based facts as they please. This is NOT a documentary that will make you regret living life the way you presently do, but it IS a documentary that will make you more aware of your surroundings and how(why) you can(do) appreciate different elements in different places.

Given its small budget, cinematography and overall direction was top-notch. The viewer is transported to multiple urban landscapes–each with their own unique fabric–which together weave a full-length feature film of international importance. 8/10 simply for the fact that I do wish Dalsgaard was able to dive deeper into more cities and perhaps extend the running time closer to 2 hours. Having said that, this movie did not feel like it was cut short; pacing was excellent and each chapter was as enthralling as the last. An absolute must-see for any curious urban dwellers or anybody interested in global societal matters.

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