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Volume XI |

Urban image analysis through visual surveys. Craiova town (Romania) as a case study

Abstract: The cities were affected by the processes of urban revitalization, aiming to be included in the global market competition where they try to attract more economic resources and to achieve an important position, thus transforming their perceptual urban representations. Some cities opted to reshape their urban spaces, projecting an image that attracts the visitor and the resident, while at the same time they try to manage the issues and tensions associated with this process of urban transformation.
Thus, the city image is increasingly exposed to recent progresses and transformations of infrastructures and land use. This article aims to outline the perception of the urban image at micro- level scale with the help of data analysis resulting from the VPS- Visual Preference Survey, conducted in Craiova town, Romania. A new urbanistic approach to measure the urban image, avoiding the classical Lynch model of analysis, is the VPS, developed by Anton Nelessen, which is a process that allows the residents to take part in the urban assessment and to create a new development vision for the future. By ranking different images of places, people from Craiova express their perception on the urban image, taking into consideration four urban aspects: public spaces, built environment, transportation and socio-cultural environment, and building in this way the community they want to see in the future. The results show that the city image needs some major urban interventions in terms of design, architecture and functionality of the public urban spaces. Consequently, some principles are proposed to public actors for improving the four main sections discussed in the survey.