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  • Writer's picturechaithanya ganesh

The Image of Kevin Lynch.


The urban planner, author and the early proponent of mental mapping was born on 7th January 1918. Kevin Andrew Lynch was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States. He authored few books with significant recognition apart from his work.

Lynch provided seminal contributions to the field of City Planning through empirical research on how individuals perceive and navigate the urban landscape. His books explore the presence of time and history in the urban environment, how urban environments affect children, and how to harness human perception of the physical form of cities and regions as the conceptual basis for good urban design.

In his book "Image of the city ", he identifies five physical elements as the building blocks of any place and they are the path, edge, district, node, and landmark.

Image of the City has had an important and durable influence in the fields of urban planning and environmental psychology.

Kevin A lynch was one of the early proponents of mental mapping, and the theories of mental mapping are as below:

- A mental map is a person's point of view perception of their areas of interaction

- A person's perception of the world is known as the mental map. It is an individual's own map of their known world.

- The image which the user forms in his mind about the architectural and urban components of the city and their places so he can direct his motion through the city after that.

- Mental maps of an individual can be investigated by asking someone directions or landmarks, by drawing a sketch-map, or even by asking a person to name as many places as possible in a short time.

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Kevin Lynch believed that "Imageability is a measure of how easily a physical object, word or environment will evoke a clear mental image in the mind of any person observing it" and he proposed the same through his book "Image of the city".

This piece of the book additionally presents Lynch's observations with youngsters and his evaluation of natural insight research. The instances of both limited scope and enormous scope examination of visual structure to some degree are trailed by three sections on the city plan. These incorporate Lynch's more hypothetical deals with complex arranging choices including both utilitarian (spatial and underlying association) and standardized (how the city works in human terms) approach.

It is justified and concluded that none of Lynch's elements exist in isolation as all the five factors compile up to produce the overall image of the city.

Kevin Andrew Lynch focussed on making the city feel like home through his works and he says- "it is important to understand how people think from their mental perspective about the city and the common themes they share to help designers to design urban structures.

On April 25, 1984, Lynch died of a Heart attack at his summer home at Gay Head on Martha's Vineyard.


" Pain is not the problem. Pain is just the byproduct of the problem"

- Kevin Lynch