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THE IMAGE OF THE CITY

PATHS

These are the streets, sidewalks, trails, canals, railroads, and other channels in which people
travel; They arrange space and movement between space.

PATHS

are the dominant elements in urban space. Typical spatial characters, unique façade decorations
are both helpful to strengthen the image of particular path. First and foremost, a path must be
identifiable, and then followed by its continuity. Moreover, paths with clear and well-known origins and
destinations have stronger identities and help tie the city together. After the directional qualities are
determined, the next step is to consider the scale characters of paths. A series of nodes and landmarks
are the most common way to achieve it. In general, it is impossible to create a clear city image while its
paths remain confused and disordered.

EDGES

Boundaries;

They can be either Real or Perceived;

These are walls, buildings, and shorelines, streets, overpasses, etc.

EDGES

are boundaries which separate two districts with visually predominant and continuous form.
While continuity and visibility are crucial, strong edges are not necessarily impenetrable. Many edges
should be defined as unity seams rather than isolating barriers, some of them are often paths like
highways and rivers which become effective orientation elements as well.

DISTRICTS

Medium to large areas that are two-dimensional;

An individual enters into and out of these areas;

Have common identifying characteristics.

DICTRICTS

are relatively large city areas with common characters which observers can mentally go inside
of. The physical characteristics that determine districts are thematic continuities which may consist of an
endless variety of components: texture, space, form, detail, symbol and so on. These components are
imaged and recognized in a characteristic cluster in order to establish a striking contrast. Besides, a
certain reinforcement of clues is needed to produce a strong image of an entire district.
NODES

Large areas you can enter, serve as the foci of the city, neighborhood, district, etc.;

Offers the person in them multiple perspectives of the other core elements.

NODES

are strategic foci which observers can enter, which are not only small points but also squares,
linear shapes and central districts etc. Basically, there are two types of nodes: junctions of path and
concentrations of characteristics. A successful node should have unique features inside, and intensify
some surrounding characters as well.

LANDMARKS

Points of reference person cannot enter into;

These are buildings, signs, stores, mountains, public art;

Mobile Points (such as Sun) can be used as well.

LANDMARKS

are reference points external to observers, which can be defined as simple physical elements
may vary widely in scale. Singularity is the key physical characteristic of landmarks, creating spatial
predominance through contrast with surrounding elements, making them unique or memorable in
urban context.

After all, these elements can not exist individually, they must act together as a whole to reveal
an integrated city image. It is a total orchestration of these elements which combine together as a vivid
and dense image. Districts can be constructed by nodes, defined by edges, penetrated by paths and
dominated by landmarks. Such combinations may reinforce one another, resonate so that they enhance
each other’s power, or they may conflict and destroy themselves.

The image of cities is a dynamic and ever-changing object, it may differ not only by scale, but
also by viewpoint, time and season. Moreover, observers are able to select, remove, and increase
elements to organize their own city image either. Therefore, what we are pursuing is an open and ever-
developing image rather than a fixed one-way outcome to describe city.