Helle Søholt, Founding Partner and CEO, Gehl

Helle is Founding Partner and CEO of Gehl. She started Gehl with Professor Jan Gehl in 2000. Through her leadership, strategic and organizational talent, the office has developed a knowledge base and experience portfolio that is respected internationally in the field of urban design and urban development. Over the years of its existence, Gehl has been awarded multiple prizes and recognitions for their contribution to making cities more livable and sustainable around the world.

Today, Helle is a prominent leader in her field. Over the past years, she has acted as an advisor to the City of Copenhagen and other great cities in Scandinavia like Oslo, Stockholm and Gothenburg, advocating for a new alternative to traditional planning.

Helle is often leading and facilitating large change processes in cities, where she aims to move those involved from a modernistic planning tradition, towards a 21st century value based planning model, centered on people. Using her pragmatic idealism, Helle manages to facilitate processes where people become the drivers of change. She enjoys fast idea generation and facilitating complex processes by engaging multiple stakeholders. Internationally, Helle has worked in cities such as Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Seattle, New York, Vancouver, London, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne adding to her global experience in the field of urban design and development. She has extensive international urban design experience at various levels of intervention and at a multitude of scales – from urban research and analysis, visioning and strategy to design development and implementation.

Helle has also served as a keynote speaker focusing on the issue of urban quality, quality of life and mobility at a wide range of internationally renowned conferences.

In contrast to urban complexity, Helle enjoys gardening, gourmet food and to watch theater plays which offer visual pleasure and artistic expression.

Helle is educated as an architect from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.