Imaging the City
Continuing Struggles and New Directions
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.