Urban Communication Research| Visually Researching and Communicating the City: A Systematic Assessment of Methods and Resources

Luc Pauwels


This article explores and discusses a wide variety of resources and research techniques to visually approach and/or communicate key aspects of mediated and unmediated urban contexts. Cities and city life indeed can be investigated in unique ways through the observation of behavior in public space and by critically scrutinizing the visible features of urban spaces as social and cultural expressions of past and present intentions. Distinct visual methods—exploratory, systematic, or participatory in nature—may help bring about the actual, changing, and often hybrid experience and appearance of urban areas and their inhabitants. Visual approaches to investigating the communicative dimensions of the city also comprise innovative uses of visual materials in the reporting phase through synergetic combinations of images and other expressive features.


visual research methods, urban communication, photograph, material culture

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