|City: definitions and history||image of a city||Postmodern
Urbanism & Gentrification
|Taipei||studies of the city in literature/film|
City: definitions, types and history
-- a major or capital city of a country, state or region. extreme
form -- 'megapolis' -- "a montrosity that embraces several metropolises
and, because of its 'tentacular bureacracy,' 'sprawling giantism,' and
'removal of limits,' threatens the very concept of the city itself" (Zhang
image of a city--functions
1. basis of personal action, conceptualization and sense of security:
-- [way-finding devices: maps, street numbers, route signs]
"In the process of way-finding, the strategic link is the environmental image, the generalized mental picture of the exterior physical world that is held by an individual. This image is the product both of immediate sensation and of them memory of past action, and it is used to intrepret information and to guide action. . . .
2. "A vivid and integrated physical setting, capable of producing a charp image, plays a social role as well." -- raw material for the symbols and collective memories of group communication. (Lynch 4)
production of an environmental image:
-- Environmental images are the result of two-way process between the observer and his environment
-- the city planners --interested in the external agent in the interaction (Lynch 7)
-- an environmental image: three components-- identity, structure and meaning. (Lynch 8)
-- "A highly imageable (apparent, legible, or visible) city in this peculiar sense would seem well formed, distinct, remarkable; it would invite the eye and the ear to greater attention and participation.
The elements of a city: paths, edges, districts, nodes, and landmarks (Lynch 46). [see the signs on the left]
to increase imageability -- e.g.
-- paths: "Characteristic spatial qualities were able to strengthen the image of particular paths." [e.g. extremes of width or narrowness]; special facade [building facade, planting] (Lynch 51); continuity.
-- "Where major paths lacked identity, or were easily confused one for the other, the entire city image was in difficulty" (Lynch 52)
Critique of Lynch
Lynch, Kevin. Image of the City. Cambridge, MA: MIP P, 1960.
Tsai, Hsiu-chih. A Semiotic Reading of City Images in Literature. Dissertation. Taipei: National Taiwan U., 1997.
Zhang, Yingjin. The City in Modern Chinese Literature and Film. Standord, CA: Standford UP, 1996.