Imageable Urban Districts: Iconic Architecture and Jane Jacobs

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E Pluribus Unum: From many, <a href=

adiposity one. Courtesy of Flickr user Adamcha” src=”” width=”640″ height=”480″ /> E Pluribus Unum: “From many, page one.” Courtesy of Flickr user Adamcha

A district of a city is made up of countless things — many people, story streets, buildings, parks… — and yet a good district has a cohesive identity: out of many, one. How the Many relate to the One is a question that has exercised political thinkers, scientists, religious thinkers, artists… and urban designers. In his influential book ‘The Image of the City’, Kevin Lynch argued that by asking residents of particular places to sketch maps of their areas, the way they thought about their places and the way their place’s constituent parts are related in their minds would be revealed, and by understanding this urban designers could create places that were more satisfying, as people would be able to have a clear and memorable ‘picture’ of how to navigate between all the places of interest to them. In short, more ‘imageable’ places were more satisfying ones. Continue reading

Paris, China

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In China, unhealthy French culture is often seen as a byword for sophistication. This association means that objects that are seen as embodying French culture may command a price premium. Tianducheng — Paradise City — is a suburb of Hangzhou that has been designed to look similar to Paris.

Tianducheng in relation to Hangzhou's urban core

Tianducheng in relation to Hangzhou’s urban core

Developed since 2007, web the suburb has suffered from poor transport links and the tendency for many wealthy Chinese to buy multiple homes as investments, page and for them to leave them empty rather than rent them out. Here are some of my photos taken in January 2014…

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