Reading-Lynch+-+1960+-+The+Image+of+the+City+_Ch+3+-+The+City+Image+and+its+Elements_

Reading-Lynch+-+1960+-+The+Image+of+the+City+_Ch+3+-+The+City+Image+and+its+Elements_

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46 III. THE CITY IMAGE AND ITS ELEMENTS There seems to be a public ~image of any given city which is the overlap of many individual images. Or perhaps there is a series of public images, each held by some significant number of citizens. Such group images are necessary if an indio vidual is operate successfully within his environment and to cooperate with his fellows. Each individual picture is unique, with some content that is rarely or never communicated, yet it approximates the public image, which, in different environments, is more or less compelling, more or less embracing. This analysis limits itself to the effects of physical, perceptible objects. There are other influences on imageability, such as the social meaning of an area, its function, its history, or even its name. These will be glossed over, since the objective here is to uncover the role of form itself. It is taken for grante<L that in actual design form should be used to reinforce meaning, and not to negate it. The contents of the city images so far studied, which are refer- able to physical forms, can conveniently be classified into five types of elements: paths, edges, districts, nodes, and landmarks. Indeed, these elements may be of more general application, since they seem to reappear in many types of environmental images, as may be seen by reference to Appendix A. These elements may be defined as follows: 1. Paths. Paths are the channels along which the observer customarily, occasionally, or potentially moves. They may be streets, walkways, transit lines, canals, railroads. For many peo- "ll"" ......... "" ... ZI!oo" pIe, these are the predominant elements in their image. People observe the city while moving through it, and along these paths the other environmental elements are arranged and related. 2. Edges. Edges are the linear elements not used or consid- ered as paths by the observer. They are the boundaries between twO phases, linear breaks in continuity: shores, railroad cuts, edges of development, walls. They are lateral references rather than coordinate axes. Such edges may be barriers, more or less penetrable, which close one region off from another; or they may be seams, lines along which twO regions are related and joined together. These edge elements, although probably not as dom- inant as paths, are for many people important organizing fea- tures, particularly in the role of holding tOgether generalized areas, as in the outline of a city by water or wall. 3. Districts. Districts are the medium-to-Iarge sections of the city, conceived of as having two-dimensional extent, which the observer mentally enters "inside of," and which are recognizable as having'some common, identifying character. Always identi- fiable from the inside, they are also used for exterior reference if visible from the outside. Most people structure their city to some extent in this way, with individual differences as to whether paths or districts are the dominant elements. seems to depend not only upon the individual bur also upon the given city.
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This note was uploaded on 12/28/2011 for the course PLANNING & 10:832:101 taught by Professor Zitcher during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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Reading-Lynch+-+1960+-+The+Image+of+the+City+_Ch+3+-+The+City+Image+and+its+Elements_

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