Urban Mindscapes of Europe

Urban Mindscapes of Europe

Urban Mindscapes of Europe

Urban Mindscapes of Europe

Synopsis

Urban mindscapes are structures of thinking about a city, built on conceptualisations of the city's physical landscape as well as on its image as transported through cultural representation, memory and imagination. This book pursues three main strands of inquiry in its exploration of these landscapes of the mind' in a European context. The first strand concerns the theory and methodology of researching urban mindscapes and urban imaginaries'. The second strand investigates some of the representations, symbols and collective images that feed into our understanding of European cities. It discusses representations of the city in literature, film, television and other cultural forms, which, in James Donald's phrase, constitute archives of urban images'. The third and last section of the volume concentrates on the relationship between the collective mindscapes of cities, urban policy and the practice of city marketing.

Excerpt

Abstract

This volume brings together a collection of essays, most of which
were presented at the 'Urban Mindscapes of Europe' conference at
De Montfort University in Leicester on 29 April 2004. At the centre
of the volume is an encounter between explorations of urban mind
scapes, and their application to urban policy generally, and more spe
cifically to city marketing and tourism promotion. This introductory
essay provides an overview of the concepts of 'urban mindscape' and
'urban imaginary', and of a selection of key themes emerging from the
contributions to the book. It ends with a discussion of a range of
issues for further research and for policy-making.

Concepts of 'Urban Mindscape' and 'Urban Imaginary'

Magoroh Maruyama, who coined the term, defines a person's or a community's operative worldview as a 'mindscape': a structure of reasoning, cognition, perception and conceptualisation (see Maruyama 1980). An 'urban mindscape' is a structure of thinking about a city. It indicates something which exists between the physical landscape of a city and people's visual and cultural perceptions of it. Mindscape can also have the

I would like to thank Jude Bloomfield and Godela Weiss-Sussex for their com
ments on an earlier version of this chapter, and the UK's Arts and Humanities Re
search Council (AHRC) for their support for my work on this book, through an
award under their Research Leave Scheme (September 2005-April 2006).

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