Unpacking the image of the water city with the theory of imageability Academic Article uri icon


  • This study invesIgated how to design imageable ciIes with water using Lynch’s (1960) theory of imageability. It examined the contribuIons of imageability elements (landmarks, paths, nodes, edges, and districts) and components (structure, idenIty, and meaning) to the image of the water city. The author sampled 55 sketch maps from 60 parIcipants in eight water ciIes and colored water elements blue to generate 55 colored maps. To measure uncolored map idenIfiability (UMI) and colored map idenIfiability (CMI) as dependent variables, raters 1 and 2 were asked to idenIfy the city associated with each uncolored sketch map, and raters 3 and 4 were asked to idenIfy the city associated with each colored sketch map. To assess the contribuIon of water (CW) to CMI, raters 3 and 4 were asked to indicate the extent to which the map’s blue features helped the raters idenIfy the city on a three-point Likert scale. The contribuIon of water (CW) was used to weight CMI to generate the dependent variable of waterbased colored map idenIfiability (WMI). The author used cogniIve mapping, photovoice, and nonvisual protocols to measure waterscape a^ributes using imageabilty components, waterscape mappability, idenIfiability, and a^achment as potenIal explanatory variables for UMI, CMI, and WMI. Regression analyses suggest that only canal mappability (the structure of water-based paths) significantly contributed to all measures for the image of the water city (UMI, CMI, and WMI) while controlling for the potenIal effects of gender, environmental exposure, age, income, educaIon, and aquaphilia sensiIvity baseline, which measured people’s a^achment to water.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rising, H. H.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016 11:11 AM