Urban Representation/Imagination

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External organisations

  • University of Leicester
  • University of Northampton


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.

Bibliographic note

Publisher Copyright: © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright: Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas