Humans recognize the world through images, which they then use to construct their worldviews. Kenneth E Boulding 1965 defines an image as a mental picture that is a product of experience, attitudes, memories, and current sensations, which causes each individual to construct a unique image that is distinct from another, even about a single subject, entirely dependent on his or her unique personality. Furthermore, the urbanization process across the globe is developing rapidly. It appears crucial to create a city’s image. It expresses a city’s spiritual orientation as an expression of civic attributes. More significantly, it is a prerequisite for continuous self-improvement in urbanized growth. Public art expresses a city’s essence and way of life. It is closely associated with the development of city image due to the modern urban form. This article focuses on how culture and public art become influential factors in developing a city’s image.

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What is Imageability?_©


As a massive complex, the city collects many aspects, such as population, economy, traditions, and the environment. Moreover, with the evolution of society, the city’s expansion moves from the economic phase to the building of cultural civilization. Individuals are exploring more about style and how they can spend quality time; as a result, many people want to experience a healthy, creative environment in cities. Nevertheless, urban commercial planning and development are growing in several cities worldwide. The desire for aesthetics develops on the foundation of economic construction methods. And this factor causes cities to lose their features and characteristics. That is why the emphasis on the research work on the connection between art, culture, and city image should be given and must be one of the major concerns that individuals should understand sensitively. Moreover, cities should preserve the peculiarities and qualities of fast growth.

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Art,culture and city_©

As a distinguished city in India, Ayodhya is near the Saryu River, with unique cultures and vast tourism opportunities. So the development of this particular city’s image will be distinct and unique. And this has to rely on public art creation and the cultural landscape to a broader extent.

A City’s Image by its Cultural Values and Public Art

The essence of the city comes from its urban image. And the city’s look is defined by its individuality, sense of aesthetics, and cultural environment. Individuals have more sentiments regarding the city’s image with the increasing travel experiences. And the municipal rating and significance will be boosted with the growing popularity of street arts. Nevertheless, urban image production has become a severe task, realizing the various components such as social value relevance and landscape. This is the outcome of urban living style and culture. Nowadays, a city’s image is one of the significant variables that draw investment from abroad and have enough tourist facilities under the effect of the business and economy. To expand gradually, cities need to build a good city identity.

“Identity means a distinction from other objects; structure means a relationship to a larger pattern of other elements; meaning means a practical and emotional value for the observer. It requires first identifying the elements from others, second the relationship to others, and last, its meaning. The first and second are the most legible/visible of city’s physical elements, while the third is very relative in cultures” [2].

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Elements of a city by Kevin Lynch_©

“Homi Bhabha highlights the idea of the cultural condition with a sense of crisis in identity. The interaction of society in spaces over time creates a new hybrid culture or/and a combination culture of previous ones. Bhabha calls this condition a process of ‘third space’ creation” [3].

Sensory information plays a vital role in understanding a city’s image. It is another aspect to understand about image.

Sensory information retaintation inside the human psyche is tied to the logical thinking curve of humans.[3] .With changing times and technological innovations, every city should be analyzed to intensify the utilization and optimization of civilized urban image, influencing the people’s minds and thus strengthening the retention of sensory information.

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Amos Rapoport_©

Amos Rapoport, in his book culture, architecture, and design, says that the development of cities’ civilized image chiefly involves the formation of cities’ provincial, historical, and contemporary civilization styles. Also, their culture dramatically influences the activities an individual does in their daily lives. Even if we look at the micro level, that is, individual housing, the design of spaces also changes according to their values. Furthermore, the values are directly connected to the ideals they worship, the paintings they make, the clothing they wear, etc.

Cultural corridors mainly exist in shared spaces such as public parks, city squares, or more rooms with numerous viewers’.And these spaces act as a cultural platform. It reveals the area’s culture and may provide the audience a quick feeling of judgment. Buildings that reflect historical public art must maintain their distinctiveness. It consumes more time to develop. As familiar sculptures,public artworks, and statutes vary in various cities. Compared with historical civilization, the contemporary civilization of cities essentially represents the living conditions and quality of citizens at the current stage. 

The fast expansion of industries is responsible for creating this new civilization. And necessitates the creation of art to reflect the individuals paying increasing attention to seeking spiritual civilization.

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Every city has a distinct regional style._©

According to W.Michelson, Every city has a distinct regional style due to geographical position and natural surroundings. Every class of society thinks differently and experiences a place differently. Those who reside in near coastal locations appreciate the spirit of the ocean. They think the ocean nurtures individuals. Inhabitants in the mountainous region are inclined to appreciate the culture of the summit, and they feel the hill provides them all of it. All of those are unusual only to ones who dwell in plains. Now talking about art, Artwork has a massive effect on a city’s sensory images. The appearance of the cities is carried by sensory images, an operational image of cities, and the developing economic image of cities. The liveliness of a city is also shown in these aspects. Therefore, as a medium of interaction, art must incorporate specific features.

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Liveliness and diversity in a city_©

The primary goal that cities attempt to create is its appearance. As a crucial aspect of contemporary city image, public art and its particular cultural expression may generate attractiveness. It must culminate in natural features and cultural elements, fostering the construction of its beauty. Public art is expressed by external and internal nurturing [4].

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Public art pieces in US._©

Also, different city elements, such as pathways, roads, and street lighting, convey the charm of the public sensory. This might look dull with a specific design; however, they will offer diverse visual impressions when integrating them, such as the Huanxi Cultural Square in Nantong city. The Huanxi Cultural Square is located along the riverfront. As a significant feature of Haohe’s scenic site, apart from the usual functions, it contains a recreational space with a fountain and an open stage, also some decorative elements are used with some chairs. It creates a lovely ambiance and has its own original sense.

Huanxi Cultural Square._©

The city is the whole of an individual’s living area. The design of cities should emphasize on fulfilling the necessities of people living in the area and their growth. The city’s ongoing economic growth also affects the individual search for better living environments and growth prospects. This results in the continuous expansion of the cities [5].

The evolution of core identity is expressed mainly in public art arrangements. Also, it depends on the structural development of urban operational zones. Some of the functional zones in urban areas are commercial spaces or entertainment spaces. The incorporation of art in residential areas may enhance people’s living quality. Moreover, it motivates inhabitants to strive for interior quality consistently.


The city is the whole of people’s living space. The city’s appearance is the primary goal that each city attempts to create. Everyone has a passion for lovely things. As an integral aspect of contemporary city image, public art and culture may generate the attractiveness of a city. Also, Each town has a distinct regional style due to its location and natural surroundings. And may have wholly diverse graphics and a unique character of its own.


1.Boulding, K. E. (1971). The image: Knowledge in life and Society. The Univ. of Michigan Press. 

2.Damayantı, R., & Kossak, F. (2016). Extending Kevin Lynch’s concept of imageability in third space reading; Case study of kampungs, Surabaya–Indonesia. A/Z : ITU Journal of Faculty of Architecture, 13(1), 57–67. 

3.Bhabha, H. K. (1994). The location of culture (Vol. 1). Routledge. 

4.Januchta-Szostak, A. (2010). The role of Public Visual Art in urban space recognition. Cognitive Maps. 

5.Chen, X. (2012) Urbanization Characteristics and Public Art Design—Thoughts on Urban

Construction and Public Art Design of Guilin. Guilin Institute of Electronic Technology ,

No. 6.

6.Wu, J. (2016). Research on the influence of public art on City Image. Journal of Building Construction and Planning Research, 04(04), 219–224. 


Kukil is a fourth-year architecture student who enjoys reading and is interested in design, history, and world affairs.She is a firm believer of the philosophy "form follows function," and she frequently expresses her skill sets in developing creative ideas.