What is it about?

(1) How can we create mental images of city elements through today’s virtual mapping environments and compare them with the images created through field observations completed in physical environments? (2) What are the strengths and weaknesses of each type of exploration?

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Why is it important?

Our study contributes to urban planning practice by discussing the role of virtual mapping technologies in Lynchian imageability analysis and assessing the opportunities and constraints of using these technologies. It provides insights into the applications of virtual mapping tools in qualitative and subjective neighborhood explorations.


The results of this study suggest how planners and urban designers can or should take a balanced approach, while understanding an urban environment or performing a neighborhood/site analysis. This balanced approach incorporates virtual and physical environment exploration methods to benefit from the opportunities that each method offers. The traditional field observation of physical environment can be much more effective when used in combination with virtual explorations.

Mahbubur Meenar
Rowan University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Analyzing Lynch’s City Imageability in the Digital Age, Journal of Planning Education and Research, May 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0739456x19844573.
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