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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
individual is to 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.

Kevin A. Lynch
The Image of the City, page 46.
Kevin Andrew Lynch
(1918 Chicago, Illinois -1984 Martha's Vineyard ,Massachusetts)
was an American urban planner and author.
His most influential books include :
The Image of the City (1960)
and What Time is This Place? (1972)
The Image of the City
This book is about the look of cities, and whether this look
is of any importance, and whether it can be changed.
The book looks at three American cities: Boston, Jersey
City, and
Los Angeles.
In the first section, new concepts of legibility and
Imageability are presented to lay the theoretical
foundation of the entire book. Followed by that, Lynch
introduced three American cities as examples to
reveal his outcomes of field reconnaissance, and then
made comparisons between each other. In the third
section, five elements and their interrelationships are
summarized from previous researches which act as the
core content of the book.
To become completely lost is
perhaps a rather rare experience
for most people in the modern city.
We are supported by the presence
of others and by special way-
finding devices: maps, street
numbers, route signs, bus placards.
But let the mishap of disorientation
once occur, and the sense of
anxiety and even terror that
accompanies it reveals to us how
closely it is linked to our sense of
balance and well-being. The very
word "lost" in our language means
much more than simple
geographical uncertainty.
The apparent clarity or "Legibility" of the cityscape.
It mean the ease with which its parts can be recognized and can be
organized into a coherent pattern/Just as this printed page, if it is legible,
can be visually grasped as a related pattern of recognizable symbols, so a
legible city would be one whose districts or landmarks or pathways are
easily identifiable and are easily grouped into an over-all pattern.
Principles for effective wayfinding include:
Create an identity at each location, different from all others.
Use landmarks to provide orientation cues and memorable locations.
Create well-structured paths.
Create regions of differing visual character.
Don't give the user too many choices in navigation.
Use survey views (give navigators a vista or map).
Provide signs at decision points to help wayfinding decisions.
Use sight lines to show what's ahead.

Physical qualities which relate to the attributes of identity and structure
in the mental image. This leads to the definition of what might be called
image ability; that quality in a physical object which gives it a high
probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer. It is that
shape, color, or arrangement which facilitates the making of vividly
identified, powerfully structured, highly useful mental images of the
Kevin Lynch found that there are five basic elements
which people use to construct their mental image of a

Paths are the channels along which the observer
moves. They may be streets, walkways, transit lines,
canals, railroads.
-Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City.
Edges are the linear elements not used as paths by the
observer. They are the boundaries and linear breaks in
continuity: shores, railroad cuts, edges of development,
- Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City
Districts are the medium-to-large sections of the city
which the observer mentally enters "inside of," and
which are recognizable as having some common,
identifying character.
- Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City
Nodes are points, the strategic spots in a city into which
an observer can enter, and which are the intensive foci
to and from which he is traveling. They may be
primarily junctions or concentrations.
- Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City
Landmarks are another type of point-reference, but in
this case the observer does not enter within them,
they are external. They are usually a rather simply
defined physical object: building, sign, store, or
- Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City.
Three Cities
The image of the cities Boston, Jersey Cities and Los Angeles
derived from the consensus of verbal interviews and sketch
Jersey city
Los Angeles
Urban design study based on theories presented by Kevin Lynch in The Image
of the City. Dublin

Park street
Park street is located quite central in Kolkata. It is growing out of
the old colonial town towards east and is surrounded by different
districts. To the east there is Salt Lake City, which was foremost
built in the early 60s, and the new developing Rajarhat. North east
the Kolkata international Airport and the southbound the mainly
residential South Kolkata is situated.
A Linear street Parkstreets figure ground map

* Images with arrows

& captions
* Yellow Line
* Red Line
* Yellow Dots
Nodes & Junctions