Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch (1918-1984) studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin and later obtained a Bachelor of City Planning degree from MIT. After a long and distinguished career on the faculty of the MIT School of Architecture and Urban Planning, he was named Professor Emeritus of City Planning.

  • City Sense and City Design

    City Sense and City Design

    Writings and Projects of Kevin Lynch

    Kevin Lynch, Tridib Banerjee, and Michael Southworth

    Kevin Lynch's books are the classic underpinnings of modern urban planning and design, yet they are only a part of his rich legacy of ideas about human purposes and values in built form. City Sense and City Design brings together Lynch's remaining work, including professional design and planning projects that show how he translated many of his ideas and theories into practice. An invaluable sourcebook of design knowledge, City Sense and City Design completes the record of one of the foremost environmental design theorists of our time and leads to a deeper understanding of his distinctively humanistic philosophy.

    The editors, both former students of Lynch, provide a cogent summary of his career and of the role he played in shaping and transforming the American urban design profession during the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s. Each of the seven thematic groupings of writings and projects that follow begins with a short introduction explaining their content and their background.

    The essays in part I focus on the premises of Lynch's work: his novel reading of large-scale built environments and the notion that the design of an urban landscape should be as meaningful and intimate as the natural landscape. In part II, excerpts from Lynch's travel journals reveal his early ideas on how people perceive and interpret their surroundings—ideas that culminated in his seminal work, The Image of the City. This part of the book also presents Lynch's experiments with children and his assessment of environmental-perception research. The examples of both small-scale and large-scale analysis of visual form in part III are followed by three parts on city design. These include Lynch's more theoretical works on complex planning decisions involving both functional (spatial and structural organization) and normative (how the city works in human terms) approaches, articles discussing the principles that guided Lynch's teaching and practice of city design, and descriptions of Lynch's own projects in the Boston area and elsewhere. The book concludes with essays written late in Lynch's career, fantasy pieces describing utopias and offering new design freedoms and scenarios warning of horrifying "cacotopias."

    • Hardcover $70.00
    • Paperback $67.00
  • Site Planning, Third Edition

    Site Planning, Third Edition

    Kevin Lynch and Gary Hack

    This new edition of Kevin Lynch's widely used introductory textbook has been completely revised; and is also enriched by the experience of Lynch's coauthor, Gary Hack. For over two decades, Site Planning has remained the only comprehensive source of information on all the principal activities and concerns of arranging the outdoor physical environment. Now, new illustrations double the visual material and one hundred pages of new appendixes cover special techniques, provide references to more detailed technical sources, and put numerical standards in a concise form.

    An introduction summarizes the site planning process. This is followed by a case study of a typical professional project and ten chapters which provide new materials on user analysis, programming, site planning for built places, housing tenures and their planning implications, cost estimating, mapping, the reading of air photographs, site design for housing in developing countries, design strategies, environmental impact analyses, and many others—all illustrated with in-text photographs and line drawings and with Lynch's characteristic marginal sketches.

    • Hardcover $95.00
  • Good City Form

    Good City Form

    Kevin Lynch

    A summation and extension of Lynch's vision for the exploration of city form.

    With the publication of The Image of the City in 1959, Kevin Lynch embarked upon the process of exploring city form. Good City Form is both a summation and an extension of his vision, a high point from which he views cities past and possible. First published in hardcover under the title A Theory of Good City Form.

    • Paperback $57.00
  • What Time Is This Place?

    What Time Is This Place?

    Kevin Lynch

    A look at the human sense of time, a biological rhythm that may follow a different beat from that dictated by external, "official," "objective" timepieces.

    Time and Place—Timeplace—is a continuum of the mind, as fundamental as the spacetime that may be the ultimate reality of the material world.Kevin Lynch's book deals with this human sense of time, a biological rhythm that may follow a different beat from that dictated by external, "official," "objective" timepieces. The center of his interest is on how this innate sense affects the ways we view and change—or conserve, or destroy—our physical environment, especially in the cities.

    • Paperback $34.00
  • What Time is This Place?

    Kevin Lynch

    In the personal image of a city, the sense of place is meshed with the sense of time. A financial district that bustles on Friday is a lifeless desert on Sunday. Any neighborhood has its deposits of slow historic change, and the bulldozers can suddenly release a buried memory of time past. Time-place is a continuum of the mind, as fundamental as the space-time that may be the ultimate reality of the material world.

    Kevin Lynch's book deals with this human sense of time, a biological rhythm that follows a different beat from most “objective” timepieces. The center of his interest is on how this innate sense affects the ways we view and change – or conserve, or destroy – our physical environment, especially in the cities.

    “... The image of the spatial environment [is] a scaffold to which we attach meanings and a guide by which we order our movements. This image has an immediate practical role in our lives and also a deeper psychological one.... Many parallel statements can be made about the environmental image of time.... Both images have intimate connections with the esthetics of landscape, and both have general implications for social structure and social change.”

    The book is illustrated with numerous photographs and marginal drawings that make its analysis specific. It opens with several case histories of cities transformed by time: London after the Great Fire of 1666; Bath, the city preserved in eighteenth-century amber; Stoke-on-Trent, scarred by centuries of industrial development; Ciudad Guayana, a new but not an instant city; and Havana, a container for social revolution.

    The next chapters take up place as an emblem and embodiment of past, present, and future time. “The Time Inside” deals with the biology and psychology of time and with its social aspects. An interlude illustrates the symbols of time in a particular place (Boston) and allows residents to comment on how they respond to this time-place. The analysis resumes, taking up the esthetics of environmental time, the proper management of change, and the relation (or lack of one) between environmental and social change. A final chapter looks at all these themes from a general perspective.

    • Hardcover $12.00
  • Site Planning, Second Edition

    Kevin Lynch

    The highly successful first edition of Site Planning was greeted by reviewers as “a most unusual type of book, in which the most practical and detailed advice is given in terms readily absorbed by beginners, though it is written by a leading theoretician concerning 'the image of the city'” (Architectural Forum)... and as meriting a “prominent place on the bookshelves of all of us actively concerned with achieving true quality in our changing environment” (Landscape).

    Over one hundred pages longer than the 1962 version, this second edition of Site Planning is a completely revised and updated source of information on the art of arranging the external physical environment in all its detail. Much new material has been added, particularly in respect to ecology, psychology analyses, and design methods. The number of illustrations has grown, and the use or margins as a cross-reference system has been amplified. Perhaps the most important aspect – the original idea of environmental design as a continuous process involving many participants – has been more completely and systematically developed.

    The art of site planning is comprehensively covered by chapters on analyzing a locality, organizing place and action, movement systems, “sensuous form,” problems of control, and design and management of the site. These are interspersed by technical chapters on site form and ecology, social and psychological analyses, streets and ways, earth-work and utilities, design methods, and costs. Discussions of housing and of special types of site planning (shopping centers and commercial strips, industrial districts, institutions, open space, and renewal) conclude the study.

    • Hardcover $18.50
  • The Image of the City

    The Image of the City

    Kevin Lynch

    The classic work on the evaluation of city form.

    What does the city's form actually mean to the people who live there? What can the city planner do to make the city's image more vivid and memorable to the city dweller? To answer these questions, Mr. Lynch, supported by studies of Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey City, formulates a new criterion—imageability—and shows its potential value as a guide for the building and rebuilding of cities. The wide scope of this study leads to an original and vital method for the evaluation of city form. The architect, the planner, and certainly the city dweller will all want to read this book.

    • Hardcover $20.00
    • Paperback $27.00