Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch

In this book, Kevin Lynch considered the legibility of the American cities by studying how the citizens perceive their cities. His study was focus on the effect of the physical elements of the city, ie. paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks as defined in the book. And he suggested that a legible city would be one whose physical elements are easily identifiable and are easily grouped into an overall pattern. [p.3] So a legible city would have a distinctive, memorable image in people's mind that they can easily orient themselves and navigate the city without getting lost.

By studying Boston, Jersey City and Los Angeles, Lynch delineated the different characteristics and qualities of the five elements of the city. And he investigated how the design of these elements can contribute in building or strengthening the image of the city.

I would like to apply Lynch's study to the subject of my thesis - Metro station. Using the five elements as a framework to consider the role of Metro station in the city, as well as to anlyze the qualities of the forms of existing stations. Therefore, one goal of my thesis will be to enhance the image of a transit-oriented neighborhood through the design of the metro station.

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