Legible Cities: Whose Readings, Whose Spaces? Malcolm Miles Presents Lecture at SUNY New Paltz

NEW PALTZ — Malcolm Miles, author of Art, Space and the City: Public Art and Urban Futures (Routledge, 1997), will lecture on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 pm in the Lecture Center 112 at SUNY New Paltz. The Student Art Alliance and the Dean’s Office of the School of Fine & Performing Arts at SUNY New Paltz sponsor the lecture. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In 1960, Kevin Lynch completed his now classic book, The Image of the City (MIT Press, 1960). Looking at three United States cities, Boston, Jersey City, and Los Angeles, Lynch proposed a theory of visual perception based on the imageability cities. Studying the mental images that people have of cities, he developed objective criteria (path, edge, node, district, landmark) to analyze the clarity and legibility of cityscapes. Miles asks what remains useful in Lynch’s analysis and interpretation of urban forms and also suggests what has become problematic. Citing cases in London, Barcelona, and Rotterdam, he considers how legibility is understood with respect to pressing issues, such as the de-population of urban spaces, citizens’ rights to the city, and the role of visual culture, architecture, and public art in affirming or resisting dominant readings of cities.

Malcolm Miles is Reader in Cultural Theory at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. He is the author of The Uses of Decoration (Wiley, 2000) and co-editor of The City Cultures Reader (Routledge, 2000) and the forthcoming Urban Futures (Routledge, 2001/2).

The Student Art Alliance is a funded member of the Student Association. For information, please call 845-257-3872. A complete list of arts events at SUNY New Paltz is available online at http://hawk.newpaltz.edu/events.

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