Friday, March 16, 2012

View From the Road: Kevin Lynch's Day Out

NOTE [11 March 2013]: The MIT link below seems to have been deactivated, so use this link for the same video from

This is a fabulous video from the archives of MIT of a drive around Cambridge and Boston by the famed urban theorist Kevin Lynch, filmed one summer's day in 1958 through the windscreen of his car.  I definitely recommend taking a look.

It's all filmed in "high speed" and the opening minute of the film takes place in Cambridge.  What is particularly striking to me is how much of the city has NOT changed in the intervening 54 years, with the profound exception of eastern Cambridge which is still the process of transforming itself.

[Two notes: 1. Thanks to Saul T. for the video; 2. One viewer claims that the film has to be from at least 1964, based on some of the construction seen, and the appearance of the '64 Chevy Impala.  I am agnostic as to the date, but I am in agreement with those who call the footage "cool".]