Sense of place in a changing small town

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Abstract: Changes in the landscape may affect our relation to specific places. In an increasingly globalized world with a global culture where planners and developers try to attract to the common and the average human, places run the risk of losing their unique characteristics. This may lead to a loss of people’s emotional attachment to places since they aren’t able to identify with the traits of the place anymore. This thesis has taken a humanist-Marxist approach to research what creates a strong sense of place in a small town in Skåne that is undergoing major transformations. Can a high rise modernist building in a low rise town affect the characteristics of the place fundamentally and is this resulting in a lower sense of place? What are citizen’s perceptions about their power to influence the production of space? To explore these issues interviews have been conducted with three different citizens using photo-elicitation as a way to find out what physical attributes they like and what may create strong attachments in the landscape. The results suggest that childhood experiences may affect the sense of place, where you were born, how you felt and where you’d spend time. The single high rise building did not seem to affect the sense of place but it changed the character of the place and the informants had trouble identifying with it. The perception of the citizens was that they had a low ability to influence how space is being produced.

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