The concept of an image, used in various urban planning and governance projects, is far from unequivocal and holds many meanings within it. Its nature can be observed from many different points of view ranging from its role as a graphic representation, to the role played by images themselves in governance processes and the results that their use generates. Discussion of the subject starts with definitions in the literature and addresses three factors of ambiguity in the use of images: visual communication, the role of images and outcomes of their use in decision-making processes. Examples are found in some experiences in the Milan area and in the Lombardy region. The discussion explores the strengths and weaknesses in the use of images as a guide and support for urban planning decisionmaking processes.
Keywords: Images; planning processes; Milan urban planning