Lynch, Landmarks and Other Things.
Towards the end of the lecture, Dr. Mirko Guaralda introduced the work of Kevin Lynch, a renowned town planner and urban designer. Having completed 2, and studying my third Urban and Regional Planning unit, as it is my chosen second major, I have encountered and worked with Lynch’s concepts and ideals about urban spaces before and have found them to be a very useful tool in determining the manner in which a space is occupied and used.
Lynch separates an urban space into 5 different elements: Nodes, Edges, Paths, Landmarks and Districts. Each of these elements is a vital part makes up and urban landscape and each one contributes something different to the space. Nodes provide a place for people to congregate and meet, even if they were not intended for such a purpose. They may be as simple as the meeting point of two paths, or specifically designed to form a space which invites users to slow down and dwell in it for a time. Edges and paths are more linear elements within an urban environment. Edges refer to the boundary between to different spaces, and are often an element overlooked by designers. An effectively designed edge can help a space to mold into its surroundings and create a more coherent design. Paths are routes through a space that are frequented by users. Within a space there may be a hierarchy of paths, and this should be considered by the designer. Lynch refers to districts as a large space within an urban environment that offers the same service. An example of a district would be the QUT campus in Brisbane’s CBD, as it is an educational facility and offers learning services. Landmarks are elements of a space that hold a high level of image-ability. Landmarks are often places that hold some sort of value to the user, and can be perceived both on a personal and a common level.
Mirko also brought up the difference between landmarks, monuments and memorials in the latter portion of the lecture, and this was something i had never thought of, or recognised before. I believe that fully understanding the difference between these elements is vital to learning about an urban environment and the manner in which a city developed.