The Road and Representation of the City: Iconography and Common Places in Mexico City and Los Angeles

Special Report: The Road, between Networks and Territories
By Jérôme Monnet

The Street iconography is currently used as a metonymic way to represent the entire City. The paper explores the process by which a part is signifying the whole, with the study-case of Mexico City and Los Angeles (California). The first analysis is focused on street maps and guides considered as narratives of the urban morphogenesis. The second part considers the representative character of the street as local landmark, paradoxically based on its exceptionality in the Mexican capital and its generic dimension in the Californian metropolis. These different social representations justify that the street as well as its image should be designed as “common places” necessary to sharing the experience of urban space.

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