Between sense and attachment: Comparing the concepts of place in architectural studies

Hashemnezhad Hashem, Yazdanfar Seyed Abbas, Heidari Ali Akbar, Behdadfar Nazgol


Contemporary architecture and urban design studies are abound with place concepts such as place attachment, sense of place, meaning of place, and place identity drawing much inspiration from the literature of environmental psychology. Despite the nuanced differences, all these concepts focus on various aspects of human-place interactions particularly the impact of places on people. This paper delineates the differing concepts regarding the sense of place and place attachment and explains the factors that affect them. It discovers from different studies that place attachment is a subset of place sense. Sense of place is a comprehensive concept of how people feel about particular places, perceive them and attached meanings to them the understanding of which is vital in assessing the level and tendency of public attachment to particular places. Place attachment refers to positive emotional and functional bonds between places and people at different spatial scales signifying the varied interplays of spatial, environmental and human factors.

Keywords: architecture, concepts of place, environmental psychology, place, place attachment, sense of place

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