Imaging the City: Continuing Struggles and New Directions

Overview

Planners face a controversial task because their professional role requires them to be spokespersons for the public interest. In a welter of conflicting pictures and voices, how might the public interest be discovered? Once identified, how might it be expressed so that competing publics attend to it? There are no easy answers, but the experience of planners today suggests ways of working and innovations of promise.

The focus on planning practice prompted the editors to analyze ...

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Overview

Planners face a controversial task because their professional role requires them to be spokespersons for the public interest. In a welter of conflicting pictures and voices, how might the public interest be discovered? Once identified, how might it be expressed so that competing publics attend to it? There are no easy answers, but the experience of planners today suggests ways of working and innovations of promise.

The focus on planning practice prompted the editors to analyze images that are now at work in our cities. For Vale and Warner, all city design and constructions offer material that people should include in images of their environment. The built and building city are part of the experience of all city dwellers; it is theirs to incorporate, interpret, or ignore. Essays included in this text trace the interplay between physical objects of planners and architects and the social experience and outlooks of image makers and their audiences.

Imaging the City explores urban image making from civic boosterism of medieval cities to iconic imagery of Times Square. Vale and Warner bring together urban historians, geographers, city planners, architects, and cultural commentators to analyze the creation of urban imagery from the signature skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur to the re-creation of the South Bronx and the use of city images in film, literature, television, and on the Internet. Urban dwellers, urban planners, architects, municipal officials, sociologists, urban historians—all will perceive their worlds with a heightened sense of awareness after reading this book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] useful reference, a collection to sample as one is introduced to the many ways the city can be imagined.” — R. A. Beauregard, Choice “[G]rapples with how images of cities change” —Planning “One task for this volume is to help planners navigate this new media-induced era of city imaging. It is based on a colloquium offered at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning in 1998 and is grounded in Lynch’s seminal work, The Image of the City… Students of image will be rewarded by spending time reading and reflecting on the MIT colloquium.” —Greg Andranovich, Journal of Urban Affairs "[D]elightful… easily readable, thoughtful, and instructive for anyone concerned with the design and planning of cities— [Kevin] Lynch would have found the essays fun, informative, and of broad value." —D. Ryan, ARCADE—Architecture/Design in the Northwest
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882851709
  • Publisher: CUPR/Transaction
  • Publication date: 10/31/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 542

Meet the Author

Lawrence J. Vale is Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include Architecture, Power, and National Identity and Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half Century of Struggle in Three Public Neighborhoods.

Sam Bass Warner Jr. is an urban historian best known for his writings on American urban development including: The Urban Wilderness: A History of the American City and The Private City: Philadelphia in Three Periods of Its Growth (winner of the Bancroft Prize).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction - Cities, Media, and Imaging
Pt. I Struggles Over City Images
1 Image Construction in Premodern Cities 3
2 Place Marketing: Using Media to Promote Cities 33
3 From Flames to Flowers: The Role of Planning in Re-Imaging the South Bronx 57
4 Re-Imaging the Rust Belt: Can Cleveland Sustain the Renaissance? 95
5 Skyscraper Competition in Asia: New City Images and New City Form 119
6 The Images of Commonplace Living in Modern City-Regions 145
Pt. II Responses to the Overwhelming City
7 Tales of Manhattan: Mapping the Urban Imagination Through Hollywood Film 179
8 Image Renewal: Polemic and Presentation in the Urban Theory of Rem Koolhaas and Leon Krier 213
9 Anti-Urbanist City Images and New Media Culture 237
Pt. III New Images and New Image Makers
10 Narrative Places and the New Practice of Urban Design 257
11 The City in Cyberspace 283
12 Urban Images on Children's Television 301
13 Urban Counter-Images: Community Activism Meets Public Art 331
14 Ephemera, Temporary Urbanism, and Imaging 361
15 Rating Place-Ratings 397
16 New Public Realms: Re-Imaging the City-Region 419
App City Imaging: A Bibliographic Essay 439
Notes 455
Credits 489
Contributors 495
Index 499
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