Shannonian Information and the City
The question of ‘what it is in the externally represented face of the city that makes it imaginable’ was one of the two pillars upon which the domain of cognitive mapping was founded (Chap. 6). The other pillar concerned the nature of internal representation, in the case of cities – of the image of the city. Lynch’s (1960) The Image of the City as we’ve seen above (Chap. 6) was an attempt to answer the first of the two questions. Today, five decades later, Lynch’s work is still the authoritative response to this question. How is that possible? One reason is the ingenuity and abundant intuition that typifies Lynch’s study. Another reason, however, is the fact that there has been relatively little research on that issue since the appearance of Lynch’s book. Following mainstream cognitive science most students of environmental and urban cognition have focused their research efforts on the nature of internal representations such as cognitive maps, putting aside the very face of the city as uninteresting or irrelevant.