Article Title

Urban Kinesthetics


The question how a city can be an aesthetic object or a beautiful object can be posed in a more fundamental manner: how a city can be perceived in the first place. By city, I mean both a built environment and its less tangible social and political reality, such as hierarchies, interactions, and alliances. A city is never perceived, in this sense, as a whole but only as snippets of buildings, the smell of pollution, and so on. Therefore, it is not accidental that urban aesthetics have traditionally been associated with the figure of the flâneur, a leisurely stroller through urban landscapes. The perception of a city is one of impressions unified by the act of walking. In this paper, I will argue for a kinaesthetics of the city: for a study of the perception and aesthetic appraisal of cities in embodied motion, while uniting the fields of cognitive science and aesthetics.

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Aesthetics Commons


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