Loading...

The Impact of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs on Architectural Thought and Urban Design

1. Introduction

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, three major works on cities and their design were published that have had a profound and lasting influence on architectural thought and urban design. These were Kevin Lynch’s The Image of the City (1960), Gordon Cullen’s The Concise Townscape (1961), and Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961). All three books have been highly influential in America and overseas and with further implications for the city of the future.

2. The city according to Kevin Lynch

2.1 The image of the city

According to Kevin Lynch, the image of a city is composed of five elements:

• Paths: the streets, sidewalks, railways, etc., which people use to move around the city;

• Edges: the boundary lines between different land uses, such as between a residential area and an industrial area;

• Districts: areas which are distinguished from one another by their different character or function, such as a downtown business district or a residential neighbourhood;
Nodes: points or focal areas which attract people and activity, such as a central square or a railway station;
Links: the connections between different parts of the city, such as roads or canals.

2. 2 The urban fabric

Lynch also believed that the physical form of the city, its urban fabric, was important in shaping its image. He distinguished between three different types of urban fabric:

• Grid: a regular pattern of streets and blocks, as in Manhattan;

• Radial: a pattern of streets and blocks radiating out from a central point, as in Washington, D.C.;

• Clustered: a pattern of streets and blocks clustered around a central point, as in Boston.

3. The city according to Gordon Cullen

3.1 Theobald Matthew and the organic city
Gordon Cullen was an English architect and town planner who was deeply influenced by the work of the Irish artist and architect William Morris and the English artist and critic John Ruskin. In particular, he was inspired by Ruskin’s idea of the “organic city”, which was first propounded by the Irishman Theobald Matthew in the 19th century.

3. 2 The picture postcard

In his book The Concise Townscape, Cullen proposed a new approach to urban design which he called the “picture postcard” technique. This involved taking a photograph of an area of the city and then overlaying it with a grid. By doing this, he believed that it would be possible to identify the “key factors” which gave the area its character. These key factors could then be enhanced or changed in order to improve the city’s image.

4. The city according to Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs was an American journalist and writer who became interested in cities and their design while working as a reporter for newspapers in New York City. In her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she put forward a number of controversial ideas about how cities should be planned and managed.

4. 1 Jacobs’ view of cities

Jacobs believed that cities should be planned in a decentralized way, with a focus on local communities and neighbourhoods rather than on grand schemes devised by central planners. She also believed that cities should be viewed as living organisms, with their own internal logic and rhythms which should be respected by those who plan and manage them.

4. 2 The Death and Life of Great American Cities

The Death and Life of Great American Cities is perhaps her best-known work, in which she sets out her theories about how cities should be planned and managed. The book has been highly influential, although it has also been harshly criticized by some urban planners and architects.

5. Conclusion

The three books by Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs have had a profound influence on architectural thought and urban design. All three authors were concerned with the image of the city and how it could be improved. Lynch believed that the image of the city was shaped by its paths, edges, districts, nodes, and links. Cullen believed that the key to improving the city’s image was to identify its “picture postcards” and then to enhance or change the key factors which gave the area its character. Jacobs believed that cities should be planned in a decentralized way, with a focus on local communities and neighbourhoods rather than on grand schemes devised by central planners.

FAQ

The artist was inspired by the city's history and its people.

Each element in the collection represents a different aspect of the city's culture and history.

The collection represents the city as a whole by depicting its various elements in a cohesive manner.

The artwork evokes feelings of pride and nostalgia in viewers who are familiar with the city's history.

Cite this assignment

Free Essay Samples (December 2, 2022) The Impact of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs on Architectural Thought and Urban Design. Retrieved from https://essayholic.com/the-impact-of-kevin-lynch-gordon-cullen-and-jane-jacobs-on-architectural-thought-and-urban-design/.
"The Impact of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs on Architectural Thought and Urban Design." Free Essay Samples - December 2, 2022, https://essayholic.com/the-impact-of-kevin-lynch-gordon-cullen-and-jane-jacobs-on-architectural-thought-and-urban-design/
Free Essay Samples April 2, 2022 The Impact of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs on Architectural Thought and Urban Design., viewed December 2, 2022,<https://essayholic.com/the-impact-of-kevin-lynch-gordon-cullen-and-jane-jacobs-on-architectural-thought-and-urban-design/>
Free Essay Samples - The Impact of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs on Architectural Thought and Urban Design. [Internet]. [Accessed December 2, 2022]. Available from: https://essayholic.com/the-impact-of-kevin-lynch-gordon-cullen-and-jane-jacobs-on-architectural-thought-and-urban-design/
"The Impact of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs on Architectural Thought and Urban Design." Free Essay Samples - Accessed December 2, 2022. https://essayholic.com/the-impact-of-kevin-lynch-gordon-cullen-and-jane-jacobs-on-architectural-thought-and-urban-design/
"The Impact of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, and Jane Jacobs on Architectural Thought and Urban Design." Free Essay Samples [Online]. Available: https://essayholic.com/the-impact-of-kevin-lynch-gordon-cullen-and-jane-jacobs-on-architectural-thought-and-urban-design/. [Accessed: December 2, 2022]

More Related papers

Top