Face as an image of the city: An integrated approach toward city diagnosis
Wang, Juju Chin-Shou
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This dissertation presents an integrated approach to city diagnosis with the help of a computer-drawn human face. The facial image represents multi-dimensional observations of a city. Presented in this dissertation are a theory of city diagnosis, and a City Face Model (CFM). The theory of city diagnosis is derived from the philosophy that a city is a human organism and has a face representing its appearance, personality, life cycle and gender. Based on this theory, the CFM, as a "user friendly'' computer package, is used to display, analyze and communicate capsule images or observations of a city. The dissertation contains eight chapters, an annotated bibliography and five appendices. Basically, the eight chapters address two fundamental questions: what is the city and what is the face? Chapter six deals with the most creative part of the dissertation, the theoretical interpretation of the city as a face. Chapter Seven presents three sets of case studies. The first set shows research results on 58 medium-size American cities referring in general to age, gender, functions, facial colors and expressions utilizing data from 1972 and 1984. The second set presents a comparative analysis displaying the faces of four West Texas cities: Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa. The analysis addresses the physical, social, governmental and economic traits of each city in addition to land use and environmental conditions. The third case study conducts an in-depth diagnosis of the city of Lubbock by interpreting 300 indicators. By taking an organic approach, the theory-along with the City Face Model presented in this dissertation-will connect city vitality and facial visibility. Thus, the CFM, serving as a mnemonic device, should help city planners to summarize the city into face(s). Faces can represent particular city functions or an overall picture of the city and provide essential and fundamental information to the public and the decision-makers.