Sense Of Place Essays

Sense Of Place Essays-63
Joshua Meyerowitz’ book (Silverbrook Press, Warrington, 1985) was an investigation of what people think of where they live, based on many interviews he conducted in the town of Towcester in the Midlands of England.The results allowed him to differentiate several different senses of place.Somewhat to my surprise this idea of sense of place as connectedness or togetherness is getting reinforcement from the research of neuroscientists.

Joshua Meyerowitz’ book (Silverbrook Press, Warrington, 1985) was an investigation of what people think of where they live, based on many interviews he conducted in the town of Towcester in the Midlands of England.The results allowed him to differentiate several different senses of place.Somewhat to my surprise this idea of sense of place as connectedness or togetherness is getting reinforcement from the research of neuroscientists.

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As a critical approach to an appreciation of the distinctive personalities of different environments, the critical enhancement of sense of place is an aspect of education in Geography, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design.

Variations in Sense of Place over Time Sense of place is constant neither over the course of individual lifetimes nor over the course of history.

Ian Nairn, for example, has written: “It seems a commonplace that almost everyone is born with the need for identification with their surroundings and a relationship to them.

So sense of place is not a fine art extra, it is something we cannot afford to do without.” From a broader perspective sense of place is an element of most social and cultural experiences.

And while it is almost always regarded as altogether positive, it is important to remember that sense of place can contribute to negative, exclusionary, even xenophobic attitudes, and ambiguity nicely captured by John Milton in Book 1: The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

Sense of Place as a distinctive aspect of somewhere (equals genius loci) The phrase sense of place is often used to refer to the quality that makes somewhere distinctive.

For young children geographical experience is constrained, mostly to house and immediate surroundings, so sense of place is tightly focused with few comparisons; for adults place experience are extensive, regional, even global, with numerous comparisons; for the elderly sense of place become increasingly constrained as mobility declines.

Sense of place has varied over the course of history, especially as technologies of communications have changed.

“Hawaiians have a deeply anchored sense of place, of ‘my place’ and ‘your place.’ They take of their place, and respect your place, and know the difference.” This is not going backward but tapping into ancestral memory to promote ecological humility and responsibility.

But it is also a sense that can be enhanced through critical attention to what makes places distinctive, how they have changed and how they might be changed.

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