Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
Sell Us Your Item
For a $9.58 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Good City Form [Paperback]

by Kevin Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

List Price: $48.00
Price: $42.47 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $5.53 (12%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, April 28? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback $42.47  
Sell Us Your Books
Get up to 80% back when you sell us your books, even if you didn't buy them at Amazon. Learn more

Book Description

February 23, 1984 0262620464 978-0262620468

With the publication of The Image of the City in 1959, Kevin Lynch embarked upon the process of exploring city form. Good City Form is both a summation and an extension of his vision, a high point from which he views cities past and possible.First published in hardcover under the title A Theory of Good City Form

Frequently Bought Together

Good City Form + The Image of the City (Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies Series)
Price for both: $63.65

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"This is a major work.... Lynch looks at connections between human values and the physical forms of cities, sets requirements for a normative theory of city form, reviews earlier physical images of what utopian communities might be, sees what is to be learned from hellish images, and helps us place city forms into one or another of three theoretic constructs: cosmic or ceremonial centers, the machine city, and the city as an organism. He tells us at some length how we might evaluate the 'goodness' of cities, speaks to the enduring issues of city size, growth, and conservation, and, having done all this, tells us about what his good city form might look like. The appendixes are a major part of the book, taking well over 100 pages.... This is a volume that in short order will be (or at least should be) standard, desired, provocative, influential reading for just about anyone concerned with why cities are the way they are and, more important, with achieving good places for people to live." Journal of the American Planning Association

About the Author

Kevin Lynch (1918-1984) studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin and later obtained a Bachelor of City Planning degree from MIT. After a long and distinguished career on the faculty of the MIT School of Architecture and Urban Planning, he was named Professor Emeritus of City Planning.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 23, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262620464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262620468
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good City Form July 24, 2001
In the world of urban design, obsessed with spectacular novelty and superficial aesthetics, this ambitious and profound work of Kevin Lynch is refreshing, yet enduring. He suggests a theory of urban design based on fundamental human values and examines how such values lead to the notion of a "good city form". His performance dimensions (e.g. access, fit, vitality) are broad enough to be interpreted and re-interpreted for specific contexts and sites. And the appendix, which briefly summarizes other theories of city form, is a tour-de-force by itself. A masterpiece which deserves greater attention and consideration, especially by those under the illusion that urban design is more or less architecture writ large!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power of Practicing Theory in Urban Design June 12, 2007
As one who straddles the two worlds of practice and scholarship with great ease and comfort, I am struck by that rare work of craft which is at once profoundly thoughtful as well as clearly directed. Most serious scholars bend over backwards to embrace the myth of "objectivity", while most practitioners salivate over superficial "best practices". Kevin Lynch's masterpiece, Good City Form, avoids both traps while offering a template for judging the effectiveness of different types of urban form and providing a guide for successful urban design projects. His starting points, a masterful overview of models of urban form throughout history and a sensitive ode to humanist values, help establish a foundation for performance dimensions to measure "good city form": Vitality, Sense, Fit, Access, Control, Efficiency and Justice.

As an example, the discussion of what city design is (i.e. urban design) on pages 290-291 is masterful. Unlike many design theoreticians, Lynch uses simple and direct language rather than resort to pretension and manipulation of terminology. Beyond the deceptively simplistic tone is a multilayered understanding and more importantly a genuine love of the city. Lynch is a keen observer, a sensitive designer, and a profound thinker. Thus, his definition of what urban design should be discusses three aspects of cities: human activity, process and control, and of course, physical form. Indeed, as my own professional experience has shown to me, in order to be a truly impactful urban designer, one needs to pay close attention to all these aspects of what makes a city.

I would highly recommend this book to reflective practitioners, scholars interested in the practice of urban design, and students interested in shaping the future of our cities.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category