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The Image of the City [Paperback]

Kevin Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 15 1960 0262620014 978-0262620017

What does the city's form actually mean to the people who live there? What can the city planner do to make the city's image more vivid and memorable to the city dweller? To answer these questions, Mr. Lynch, supported by studies of Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey City, formulates a new criterion--imageability--and shows its potential value as a guide for the building and rebuilding of cities.The wide scope of this study leads to an original and vital method for the evaluation of city form. The architect, the planner, and certainly the city dweller will all want to read this book.

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"...a readable, tautly organized, authoritative volume..." Architectural Forum

"This small and readable book makes one of the most important modern contributions to large-scale design theory. David A. Crane Journal of the American Institute of Planners

About the Author

Kevin Lynch (1918-1984) studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin and later obtained a Bachelor of City Planning degree from MIT. After a long and distinguished career on the faculty of the MIT School of Architecture and Urban Planning, he was named Professor Emeritus of City Planning.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Help in Forming a Design Perspective April 30 2001
The urban setting is a composition of nodes, landmarks, paths, edges and districts, accorsing to Lynch. This physical summary of urban landscape may not be satisfactory for some. However, for others, including me, this book is a great help in forming a design perspective at the city level. It does not matter at all if you have just started forming your perspective or working on the final details. The book should be in your library, and the design guidelines should be in your mind, not only when designing a peace of urban space, but also when you are just wondering around.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The psychology of urban designs Dec 22 1999
This book describes mental maps obtained from residents in several cities such as Boston, Los Angeles and Jersey City. The mental maps were materialized on paper through an interview process and combined with maps from many individuals. And the results are surprising. Each map is a composite image of the city (and hence, the book's title) that reveals not only the character of the place, but gives you a feeling for it. In Boston for example, the streets are very disorganized, so people give directions by using landmarks almost exclusively. On the other hand, in Jersey City, with extremely uniform architecture, directions are given by street number and points of the compass. An unusual discovery concerns very long streets in Boston. They appear on the map with missing sections - these sections are totally invisible to the people interviewed. In many cases individuals were unaware that Washington street in one neighborhood is a continuation of Washington Street in another neighborhood. These blind spots affect how people move around, it affects the directions they give to others and it contributes or reinforces fears they may have about certain neighborhoods. The book moves from these maps and observations and tries to develop rules of thumb for urban design. People feel more comfortable and perhaps more anchored if they know where they are in space and in relation to visible landmarks. Some cities provide this comfort level more effectively than others - this book tries to find root causes. It's no wonder this is a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incontournable March 26 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Image of the City" est incontournable pour qui veut comprendre les dimensions identitaires d'un quartier.
Il est aujourd'hui fréquemment évoqué en urbanisme, les idées de M. Lynch permettent de composer des villes plus faciles pour s'orienter, plus marquantes.
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