Urban representation/imagination

Peter Kraftl, John Horton

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


The work of human geographers has concerned itself with numerous styles of urban representation and imagination. This article critically evaluates this work, by outlining three ‘levels’ of engagement between human geographers and the representation and imagination of the urban. First, it introduces the significant ways in which human geographers have represented and imagined urban geographies, and thus contributed significantly to the representation and imagination of ‘the urban’. Second, it introduces geographers’ efforts to study extant representations and imaginations of ‘the urban’ as manifest in literary texts, cinema, the arts, and urban design. Third, it introduces geographers’ studies of theories and theorists of urban representation. In conclusion, reflecting upon recent critical literatures and providing pointers to nascent research directions, it suggests some aspects of urban representation and imagination which may have been hitherto overlooked.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopaedia of Human Geography
EditorsRob Kitchen, Nigel Thrift
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherElsevier Science
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780080449104
ISBN (Print)9780080449111
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2009


  • Art
  • Cinema
  • Geographical imagination
  • Literary texts
  • Urban design
  • Urban geography
  • Urban theory


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