Achieving Memorable Places,'Urban Sense of Place' for successful urban planning and renewal?

Clark, Michael (2012) Achieving Memorable Places,'Urban Sense of Place' for successful urban planning and renewal? In: Making sense of place: multidisciplinary perspectives. Heritage Matters . Boydell and Brewer, pp. 119-132. ISBN 9781843837077

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This chapter seeks a critical appreciation of the idea of ‘sense of place’ with particular reference to plans, management and other forms of intervention that seek to create or enhance places in ways that meet development and other goals. This raises questions about how relationships with, and attitudes towards, places may affect behaviour, what influences attitudes towards places, and sense of place, and why the perception and experience of a place matters. In a field dominated by speculation, uncertainty and confident assertion it may be wise to look to specific examples and circumstances rather than to adopt simple prescriptions. It is difficult to identify and unpick the various reasons why some schemes and places perform well while others fail. Successful places may just be carriers for or associated with people who are successful in other ways: middle and upper income and class members who can afford a better quality of life, however defined, and whose purchasing power and status out-compete other people. But there are examples of places geared to elite groups that fail, and perhaps more rarely, of good quality residential and social environments used by the general public. Ensuring such development has been a primary purpose of initiatives such as the Garden City and New Town movements. Public parks and many countryside and coastal access schemes seek to create and maintain exceptional places, as do those responsible for most large shopping complexes, university campuses and heritage sites. Though this focus perhaps makes too much of their exceptional qualities and underplays the importance of ordinary day to day experiences and their far from accidental circumstances.

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