William Whyte was an American urbanist who used the direct observation method for understanding and analyzing how people use public spaces. Whyte authored numerous books on cities and public spaces and was considered a leading expert on pedestrian behaviors. One of his most regarded books was the 1980 title “The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces” which was made into a one-hour movie in 1988. The film is quite interesting, surprisingly humorous at times, and a must-see for anyone interested in urban public spaces.

With the design currently underway for several significant public spaces at Denver Union Station, the Union Station Advocates has teamed up with real estate firm Urban Market Partners and the local chapters of the American Planning Association and the American Society of Landscape Architects to arrange for a public viewing of Whyte’s “The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces” movie, followed by an open discussion about Union Station’s two major public spaces (17th Street Gardens and Wynkoop Plaza). The discussion will be facilitated by Ellen Ittelson, senior planner with the Denver planning office, and your DenverInfill blogger, Ken Schroeppel.

The event will be held Thursday, June 17 from 5:00 to 7:30 PM at 1430 Delgany (white building with the flowery facade next to the Waterside Lofts, just down the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art). The event is FREE to the public, although a small cash donation at the door would be greatly appreciated to help cover our costs. Light refreshments will be available. YOU are invited!

Here’s a flyer:


We hope to see you Thursday for urbanism-at-the-movies night!