The Image of the City

This short film is an adaptation of the classic urban design tome – The Image of the City – by Associate Professor Kevin Lynch (1918-1984) of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Evan Mather, U.S.A., 2006, 6:23)

The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch

 

Lynch’s most famous work, The Image of the City published in 1960, is the result of a five-year study on how users perceive and organize spatial information as they navigate through cities. Using three disparate cities as examples (Boston, Jersey City, and Los Angeles), Lynch reported that users understood their surroundings in consistent and predictable ways, forming mental maps with five elements:

  • paths, the streets, sidewalks, trails, and other channels in which people travel;
  • edges, perceived boundaries such as walls, buildings, and shorelines;
  • districts, relatively large sections of the city distinguished by some identity or character;
  • nodes, focal points, intersections or loci;
  • landmarks, readily identifiable objects which serve as external reference points.

In the same book Lynch also coined the words “imageability” and “wayfinding“. Image of the City has had important and durable influence in the fields of urban planning and environmental psychology.

The Naked City
Illustration de l’hypothése des plaques tournantes en psychogeographique
Screenprint, 1957
Guy Debord with Asger Jorn

Advertisements

One comment

  1. Pingback: Kevin Lynch | Vahid Moosavi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: