chapter  2
13 Pages

The Semiotics of Urban Space

WithAlexandros Ph. Lagopoulos

This chapter focuses on the semiotics of urban space, i.e., the meaning of space, as a particular, and major, case of urban semiotics. Before passing to the purely semiotic approach, I try to show how semiotics, identified with the cultural/ideological system, is articulated within the social structure as a whole. After a brief presentation of the basic perspectives on the semiotic analysis of urban space, I discuss two different approaches, based on the communication circuit: the semiotic production and consumption of urban space. Concrete examples are presented to substantiate the existence of the three-level semiotic analysis proposed: semiotic, sociosemiotic and social semiotic analysis. Following the epistemological approaches above, the paper ends with a historical and theoretical approach presenting the three major semiotic models of urban space: the precapitalist model, the modernist model and the postmodern models.