ahmad zamil bin zakaria

S E N S E

O F

P L A C E

2009
The common definition of sense of place can be describes as the attribution of non-material characteristics to a place. The importance by having sense of place is it can be a factor that makes an environment psychologically comfortable and identity or trademark for a place. The local identity is always conditioned by a dynamic pressure between extra-local forces and local traditions. In landscape architecture field, to create a sense of place requires sensitivity to the needs of the client, views, soil, slope, sun exposure, and many other factors.

SRM-0049/08 Msc Tourism Development School of Housing Building and Planning UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA

Sense of Place RTK 534 – Sustainable Development Tourism

TABLE OF CONTENT
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Acknowledgement Abstract

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The Command Meaning of Sense of Place Definition of "Sense of Place" The Nature of "Sense of Place" Sense of Place in Landscape Design Genius Loci Strong Sense of Place Case Study – Hawaii

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Conclusion References

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SENSE OF PLACE
AHMAD ZAMIL BIN ZAKARIA S-RM0049/08 Msc in Tourism Development School Of Housing Building And Planning Universiti Sains Malaysia

ABSTRACT

The command definition of sense of place can be describes as the attribution of non-material characteristics to a place. The soul of a place also known as genius-loci in a technical terminology. Genius Loci – ―the spirit of place, as that concept relates to town preservation and revitalisation. This notion is based upon the belief that each town has its own individual special uniqueness, character, identity, and spirit which differs from all other places. The importance by having sense of place is it can be a factor that makes an environment psychologically comfortable and identity or trademark for a place. In term of tourism application, the experience of tourism becomes a fundamental component of people's senses of place and ethnic identity. Developed countries have determined a commercial tourism industry driven by the ideal of cultural authenticity. Such a feeling may be derived from the natural environment, but is more often made up of a mix of natural and cultural features in the landscape, and generally includes the people who occupy the place. The local identity is always conditioned by a dynamic pressure between extra-local forces and local traditions. In landscape architecture field, to create a sense of place requires sensitivity to the needs of the client, views, soil, slope, sun exposure, and many other factors. It also requires knowledge of architecture, landscape design principles, style, local plants, and stone and other building materials, and garden accessories like fountains, planters, and lights. All the things are the effort to give extra sense to the place. Last but not least the sense of place helps to protect the region's cultural heritage and promote cultural awareness and strong kinship ties. By the way sense of place can be a bench mark to attractiveness place in a whole country.

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THE COMMON MEANING OF SENSE OF PLACE

The term sense of place has been defined and utilized in different ways by different people. To some, it is a characteristic that some geographic places have and some do not, while to others it is a feeling or perception held by people and but not by the place itself. It is frequently used in relation to those characteristics that make a place special or unique, as well as to those that promote a sense of authentic human connection and belonging.

a)

A set of personal, family, and community narratives that include features of place. Taken together, these narratives constitute an attachment to place.

b)

The acknowledgment of non-material characteristics to a place. The "soul" of a place ; its genius loci.

c)

Unspoken knowledge of a place. This would include the ability to describe a plant or an outcropping of rock without being able to put a name to either. It would involve the tendency to have embodied skills for route-finding, but neither the linguistic nor the visual memory needed to draw a map.

A sense of place, in this meaning, would include the concept of "being oriented." To lack a sense of place is to be "disoriented." In modern industrial societies, such a sense of place is relative to mode of transport. One may have a sense of place when walking, for example, but become utterly disoriented when in an automobile.

d)

A artificial but unsystematized body of knowledge about a place. In this meaning, systematic knowledge of place is surrounded in a silent system of a higher order: knowledge about parts but a sense of the whole.
(Source : http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/)

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What do we mean by ―sense of place‖? The following quotes reflect both historical and contemporary perspectives of those who study people’s ―sense of place‖ and the human experience in landscapes. ―Place can acquire deep meaning for the adult through the steady accretion of sentiment over the years.‖ (Tuan 1977:32) ―What begins as undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it better and endow it with value.‖ (Tuan 1977:6) ―The place has become a shaping partner in our lives, we partially define ourselves in its terms, and it carries the emotional charge of a family member or any other influential human agent.‖ (Ryden 1993: 66) ―Place implies a degree of stability, an anchor for the self or group.‖ (Stedman 2002) ―Place can serve as an important anchor for self-definition, especially given the importance of place stability.‖ Stedman (2002) ―A knowledge of place is grounded in those aspects of the environment which we appreciate through the senses, color, texture, slope, quality of light, the feel of wind, the sounds and scents carried by that wind.‖ (Ryden 1993: 38)
(Source: http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes/pdf/sense_of_place.pdf)

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D E F I N I T I O N O F "S E N S E O F P L A C E"

Sense of place is one of many characteristics which displayed by people similar with local identity. A sense of place is a sense of the beauty and the wealth of phenomena that cover a particular place. Sense of place is a factor that makes an environment psychologically comfortable. Three variables of sense of place are: legibility the perception of and preference for the visual environment the compatibility of the setting with human purposes
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Sense of place is defining oneself in terms of a given piece of land. Landscape acts as teacher in shaping our perceptions of place. Analysis suggests that four major components contribute to a sense of place. These emotional and spiritual bonds to the land are:

toponymic - related to naming places narrative - involving personal or group stories or legends experiential - associated particularly with dependence and survival numinous - spiritual

Photo 1: Balinese garden design (numinous design and refer to Bali culture)

Photo 2: Natural environment give sense of calm (need to be discovered the element of nature)

Photo 3: Dataran Lang getting it name from the myth of Helang.

Photo 4: Mahsuri the legend of Langkawi Island.

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Geographic place

To understand sense of place, the geographic concept of place needs first to be defined. One definition of place, proposed by Tuan, is that a place comes into reality when humans give meaning to a part of the larger, undifferentiated space. Any time a location is identified or given a name, it is separated from the undefined space that surrounds it. Some places, however, have been given stronger meanings, names or definitions by society than others. These are the places that are said to have a strong "Sense of Place."

Sense of place is a social phenomenon that exists independently of any one individual's perceptions or experiences, yet is dependent on human engagement for its existence. Such a feeling may be derived from the natural environment, but is more often made up of a mix of natural and cultural features in the landscape, and generally includes the people who occupy the place. The sense of place may be strongly enhanced by the place being written about by poets, novelists and historians, or portrayed in art or music, and more recently, through modes of codification aimed at protecting, preserving and enhancing places felt to be of value (such as the "World Heritage Site" designations used around the world, the English "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" controls and the American "National Historic Landmark" designation).

Placelessness
Places that lack a "sense of place" are sometimes referred to as "placeless" or "inauthentic." Placeless landscapes are those that have no special relationship to the places in which they are located - they could be anywhere. Roadside strip shopping malls, gas/petrol stations and convenience stores, fast food chains, and chain department stores are often cited as examples of placeless landscape elements. Even some historic sites or districts that have been heavily commercialized (commodified) for tourism and new housing estates are sometimes defined as having lost their sense of place.

Placelessness could appear in two forms: 1) 2) Homogenized – strip malls and suburbs that look the same everywhere Fake environments – constructed to look like a real place, a theme park

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sense_of_place)

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T H E N A T U R E O F "S E N S E O F P L A C E"

Definite qualities of landscape infused a site with a sense of place for people. Earlier period experience deeply influenced relationship between people and place, as places were sensed as a combination of setting, landscape, and routine and in the perspective of other places. Analyzing the content of people's remembrances for significant and persistent themes about space and place yields insights into primary life themes of sense of place, environmental mastery, privacy and independence. Loss of place – humiliation - losing one's past, present and future sense of place. Placelessness – distress - attaining a sense of place. Rootlessness – alienation - continuity and change in the sense of place. Combined identity and sense of place is one of the primary social functions of residential differentiation for most people in up to date societies. According to Kevin Lynch, a region can be evaluated by finding out how clearly its territories are marked, whether the transitions are sufficient, how finely the space is divided, whether the needed range of behaviour is provided for, whether all social groups have territories of their own, and how well users understand and concur on the meanings and boundaries of those territories.

The identification of places, as well as their organization into mental structures, not only allows people to function effectively but is also a source of emotional security, pleasure and understanding. We take delight in physically distinctive, recognizable locales and attach our feelings and meanings to them. Place nature is often recalled with warmth; its lack is a frequent subject of popular complaint. People are pleased to know a great city, or to understand its history. In fact, a strong sense of place supports our sense of special identity. By that reason, recognizable characters of a landscape are often fiercely defended.
(Source: http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/)

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SENSE OF PLACE IN LANDSCAPE DESIGN

It means a garden with a different personality that is well-suited to both the land and the client. When we are in a garden with a sense of place, we can enjoy its unique style and feel that it belongs there and is just right for the land and the owner. To create a sense of place requires sensitivity to the needs of the client, views, soil, slope, sun exposure, and many other factors. It requires knowledge of architecture, landscape design principles, style, local plants, stone and other building materials, and garden accessories like fountains, planters, and lights.

Photo 4: Stonehenge at Nong Nooch Park, Pataya – the mock-up but give a good impact for those who never see the miracle Stonehenge.

Photo 5: Topiary, boulders and palm trees combine together to adapt the rock garden concept.

For example, by depending on the client, a garden with a sense of place can be creatively adventuresome. It could feature remarkable sculpture, an arbour, a curving walk with embedded strands of fibre optic lights, or five different wall fountains spilling into the same long narrow pool. A garden with a sense of place can also be one that is responsive to the environment, using native plants and recycled and local materials where possible. A garden that adapts itself to its environment rather than fighting it tends to be long-lived because it is practical. In term of visually, it conveys constancy because of its harmony with the surrounding landscape.
(Source: http://senseofplace.us/index.html)

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GENIUS LOCI

Genius Loci also known as the spirit of place, as that concept relates to town preservation and revitalisation. This concept is based upon the idea that each town has its own individual special uniqueness, character, identity, and spirit which differs from all other places. A spirit which value and meaning to a town’s population, and without which their quality of life would be diminished (Harry, L.G., (1985).

According to Harry, L.G. (1985), the major components of identity have been found to be: 1) Physical features and Appearance The authentic physical structure of a place. The authenticity of its buildings, landscape, climate and aesthetics quality is a potential and attraction for a tourist. 2) Observable Activities and Functions To think how a place’s people interact with it, how their cultural institutions have affected it, and how the buildings and landscapes are used.

Photo 6: The authentic physical of Kota Melaka.

Photo 7: Ipoh Riverfront interaction between human, nature and manmade.

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Photo 8: The authentic physical of Masjid Kampung Laut Nilam Puri the oldest mosque in Kelantan.

Photo 9: Terengganu State Museum interaction between human, nature and manmade.

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STRONG SENSE OF PLACE

Referring to Harry, L.G. (1985), the identification of unique character must lead change, and change must be designed to accommodate the preservation of that uniqueness. Unique character or strong sense of place is often based upon such items as: 1) 2) Architectural style. Climate, particularly the quality and quantity of light, amount of rainfall, and variations in temperature. 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) Unique natural setting. Memory and metaphor, what the place means to people who experience it. The use of local materials. Craftsmanship. Sensitivity in the sitting of important buildings and bridges. Cultural diversity and history. People’s values. High quality public environments which are visible and accessible. Town wide activities, daily and seasonal.

Structure and Identity

According to Lynch, K. (1996), an environmental image may be analyzed keen on three components: identity, structure, and meaning. A practicable image requires first the identification of an object, which implies its characteristic from other things, its recognition as a separable entity. This is called identity, not in the sense of equality with something else, but with the meaning of individuality. The image must include the spatial or pattern relation of the object to the observer and to other objects. This object must have some meaning for the observer, whether practical or emotional. Meaning is also a relation, but quite a different one from spatial or pattern relation.

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CASE STUDY – HAWAII
better

Five cultural leaders to talk about Sense of Place. The goal is to help people,

understand and appreciate the Aloha State and the people who live there, the stewards of the islands’ natural and cultural legacies. — Peter Apo, Elizabeth Lindsey, Oswald Stender, Ramsay Taum and Charles Kaupu — what the term ―sense of place‖ means to them. “First, I define „place‟ as „located space.‟ It can be as large as a country or as small as a coffee shop. Sense of place is about the feeling that emanates from a place as a combination of the physical environment and the social construct of people activity (or absence of ) that produces the feeling of a place.” PETER APO
Peter Apo has been a Hawaiian activist, a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state legislator and a professional musician. He is currently the director of culture and education for the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association

1)

2)

“A sense of place is one of the most important aspects in Native Hawaiian life. Not only does it speak to our genealogy, but often to our destiny.The birthplace of our kupuna, our elders, commonly marked the resting place of their elders. Generations of families would become so intimate with their environment that they could call the winds and the rains by name.Whether a family lived near the ocean as fishermen or upland as farmers, they were inextricably tied to their surroundings.” ELIZABETH LINDSEY
Dr. Elizabeth Kapuuwailani Lindsey is a cultural anthropologist and awardwinning filmmaker

3)

“A sense of place is a state of mind. Each of us describes a sense of place as a space or place in which we are comfortable. This place is a physical and psychological environment that is pleasant, safe, socially comfortable and enjoyable. A sense of place is nirvana — a place of peace and harmony.” OSWALD STENDER
Oswald ―Oz‖ Stender is a trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

4)

“Every place or travel destination has a story, a persona, customs and traditions. Every place likewise has a sense of place that helps the traveler judge his or her experience.With this in mind, sense of place might be considered the characteristics, qualities and features that help to distinguish one place from another. The built and natural environments are only part of the equation that contributes to the overall experience and sense of place. Sense of place helps to define the relationships we

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have as hosts and guests, as well as how we treat one another and our surroundings.” RAMSAY TAUM
Ramsay Taum is the community outreach coordinator with the University of Hawaii School of Travel Industry Management educational and community outreach program.

5)

“Sense of place is the knowledge of who you are, where you come from and those treasures that have been passed from generation to generation to be used in such a way to enhance all that you do to honor the past, function in the present and set a solid foundation for the future.” CHARLES KAUPU
Charles Kaupu is a cultural specialist who helps the Maui Visitors Bureau, Kaanapali Beach Resort Association and Intrawest Inc.
(Source: Hawaiian Magazine MARCH / APRIL 2006 – Internet)

CONCLUSION

The identity of the place exists when we think about that place. Its identity is reflected in its culture, history, population, environment, economy, architecture, problems or aspirations. Space accordingly to tourism sector should primary motives which make tourists spend more days in the spot. However, the great majority of observed research does not consider the question of defining tourism destination; the interest is only in areas with tourist attraction, or with sites that have the potential to become such places. These areas are analysed and measured through their level of attractiveness, provision of visitor satisfaction, and destination management itself.

The term imageability may be introduced to strengthen the sense of place. Imageability means a quality in a physical object which gives it a high prospect of evoking a strong image in any given observer. It is that shape, colour, or arrangement which facilitates the making of brilliantly identified, powerfully structured, highly useful rational images of the environment. It might also be called legibility, or perhaps visibility in a heightened sense, where objects are not only able to be seen, but are presented sharply and intensely to the senses

Landscape characteristics matter a great deal to sense of place; the quality of the physical environment underpins both place attachment and satisfaction. Accordingly, the effects of landscape change on human attitudes and behaviours can be modelled.

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REFERENCES

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8)

http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sense_of_place http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/ http://senseofplace.us/index.html http://www.ucsusa.org/greatlakes/pdf/sense_of_place.pdf Hawaiian Magazine MARCH / APRIL 2006 – Internet) Lynch, K., (1996), “The Image of the City”, Cambridge MA, The M.I.T Press. Harry, L.G., (1985), “Maintaining The Spirit of Place – A Process for the Preservation of Town Character”, PDA Publishers Corporation, Mesa, Arizona.

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