Scholarly article on topic 'Assessment of Correlation between Length of Residence and Good Image: Parand New Town'

Assessment of Correlation between Length of Residence and Good Image: Parand New Town Academic research paper on "Sociology"

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{"Good image" / "length of residence" / criterion / "new town"}

Abstract of research paper on Sociology, author of scientific article — Mahsa Goldar, Seyed Abdolhadi Daneshpour

Abstract Many researches related to new towns believe in the healing role of time against a weak person-place relationship in such cities. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of time on a good image in longitudinal and latitudinal views in the new town of Parand. By surveying the image of 151 people including newcomers and old inhabitants, this study found that duration of residency has not affected the public image of the city (latitudinal view), and among the criteria defining the good image, only memorability and imageability of the neighbourhoods have related to the time factor (longitudinal view).

Academic research paper on topic "Assessment of Correlation between Length of Residence and Good Image: Parand New Town"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 (2015) 333 - 341

Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, AcE-Bs2015, 20-22 February 2015,

Tehran, Iran

Assessment of Correlation between Length of Residence and Good

Image: Parand New Town

Mahsa Goldara*, Seyed Abdolhadi Daneshpourb

a Urban design Student, School ofArchitecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran b Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran


Many researches related to new towns believe in the healing role of time against a weak person-place relationship in such cities. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of time on a good image in longitudinal and latitudinal views in the new town of Parand. By surveying the image of 151 people including newcomers and old inhabitants, this study found that duration of residency has not affected the public image of the city (latitudinal view), and among the criteria defining the good image, only memorability and imageability of the neighbourhoods have related to the time factor (longitudinal view).

© 2015Publishedby ElsevierLtd. This isanopenaccess article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-reviewunderresponsibilityofAMER(AssociationofMalaysianEnvironment-BehaviourResearchers)andcE-Bs(Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Keywords: Good image; length of residence; criterion; new town

1. Introduction

Construction of new cities in Iran is one of the most important policies that results in the urban development process (Ziari et al., 2013, 1). New satellite towns built near metropolitan cities to balance and attract the surplus population are included. Unfortunately, the nature of these towns (being new) and the point of view in planning and designing them has caused the laxity of person-place relationship.

Freshness and youth of such cities made time and increased length of residence assumed to be the solution to their problem. It's stated that people who have lived in a place for a long time not only show greater attachment to the place (Daneshpour et al, 2011, 45) but also it is important for them to give meaning to that place

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98-912-315-1310. E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.183

(Charkhchian&Daneshpour, 2010, 222). Many studies have noted an approving correlation between length of residence and satisfaction (such as Hur&Marrow-jones, 2008, 621; Fleury-Bahi, Felonneau, Marchand, 2008, 675). They declared this factor is contributed to the feeling of comfort and bonding to the place, and can affect the positive image of the place, safety, security and positive connection with other users (Ujang, 2012, 165). However, the place and observer are involved in the image formation (Stern &Krakover, 1993, 131), it's ambiguous to believe that the connection between the person and the place, will grow stronger by lengthening the residence duration regardless of features and qualities influenced people perception of place. Particularly, up to down quantitative approach about new town neglected environmental qualities and their role in the quality of this relationship. Accordingly, the present paper tries to answer this question: Can lengthening residence duration in town cause positive effect on people-place relationship spontaneously?

Based on this question, the aim of the paper is to assess the correlation between length of residence and good image. To this end, longitudinal and latitudinal views to the time factor are required for demonstrating the differences and similarities of residents' image and orientation of that through the time (objectives). Therefore, the role of residence duration and environmental qualities in the image formation is determined.Then, those qualities can involve in this process are explored, and used in the operational definition of the good image as its construction or criterion, which can explain the concept. Eventually, the tool is determined to compare the image of residents and appraisement of the relation between the two main variable of the study.

2. Literature review

Image of the city is formed based on both the observer and the city. Distinctions and relations transmit to the observer by the city to create the image. The Observer selects part of these distinctions and connections based on his needs and goals and organized and gives them a meaning (Neacsu, 2009, 176). Lynch also expressed that perception of the city is a transaction between person and place, which varies with variation in each factor (Lynch, 1996, 251). Therefore, every study related to urban image shall consider both place and person.

2.1. Length of residence and image

The formation of the image is affected by the perception and cognition process that are also affected by factors and cognitive structure of a person (beliefs, ideas, expectations, knowledge, experiences and etc.). Since cognition is developmental, a change of the individual's available cognitive structure influences his perceptual selectivity, thus leading to a reconstruction of the image through selected fields of attention (Stern &Krakover, 1993, 131). In Stern and Krakover's model of image, they present Intangible stimuli and individual background alongside environmental characteristics that affect the perceptual and cognitive processes and the image as well. They express that in the process of image formation from a phenomenon individual's attributes (such as age, sex, etc.) as well as the information and experiences that the person has about that specific phenomenon are involved. These experiences and information will vary between different people based on three features (source, type and amount of information) (Ibid, 131-132). Based on this subject the effect of "period of residency" on perceptual and cognitive processes and the image itself can be explained. As the period of residency extends, people can gain more information about the place because the probability of direct experience of the place is increased. Therefore, familiarity and duration of residency by affecting the type(positive or negative), amount (more or less) and source (direct or indirect) of information, can have an impact on people-place encounters and image formation.

Due to the impact of the residency period in perception and cognition process, it is expected that different people based on this factor have a different image of the city. Therefore, at a particular time phrase, there will be many different mental images between the citizens of the city. This feature can affect the projection of a unique image or as Lynch (1960) believes- the public image of the city. Lack of attention to these differences can make a challenge that is more critical about the new towns. Residency period and familiarity with these towns are not equal to those who live there, because they are not populated at once, and crowd overflow will take both time and different stages. Moreover, this can affect the selected fields of attention, interpretation of the residents from the new town and made some differences between new and old residents' priorities. A latitudinal view to the time factor can consider these differences and their effects.

The evolution and development concept has to be considered in the image studies due to the dynamic nature of the image. Therefore, a longitudinal analysis is required for regarding this dynamic process. Banerjee's comparative study of image held by newcomers and old residents was a track in the path of change as one becomes familiar with a place over time (Lynch, 1996, 252). Although, many studies mentioned to the time factor but with few exceptions, they rarely described how the residence duration can affect the image. That is why the study of image and the effect of time on it must take place as longitudinal and latitudinal views (Fig.l)

Views Main issues Main questions

Necessity of longitudinal and latitudinal views toward the length of residence

Differences and similarities of city image held by people

Change and evolution of city image due to its dynamic nature

What's the main differences of city image held by its new and old residents?

By lengthening residence, how does the image of city change (negative or positive)?

Fig. 1. Longitudinal and latitudinal view towards the length of residence.

To have a longitudinal and latitudinal comparison, it is necessary to know the time threshold of being familiar with a place. Some of the studies consider length of residence as one of factors to describe their sample. They often made differences between people who has less than one year residence duration with those who has more (for example Appleyard,1969). But these studies never said why this threshold was used. Based on Steinitz's opinion, a person's initial contact with his environment is conducted in the first two years of residency in that place (Banerjee, 1971, 23). Accordingly, the threshold of residence duration to distinguish newcomers and old inhabitants is assumed two years in this study. Since, this study carry out in a new town this threshold seems better.

2.2. The concept of good image

The image of a place is the overall impression that people have of the place. It is an association, positive or negative, that the name of the place evokes (Cowan, 2008,192). In other words, image is a combination of the physical environment and the meanings and the values that are perceived by people (Suthasupa, 2011,58). Every image forms during the relation between the observer and his environment (Lynch, 1960, 6). So a good image results from a positive relationship with the place. This image can affect the sense of a place, identity and the sense of belonging to that place. This issue has repeatedly been raised by various researchers (Mannarini et al., 2006; Riza et a.l,2011 ; Lalli,1992; Fleury-Bahi, Marcouyeux,2011).

Using the concept of evaluative image that Nasar(1998) raised, good image is expressed. Nasar believes that the image has emotional and connotative aspects alongside cognitive features or more precisely the identity and the structure (Lynch's components of the image) caused by positive or negative evaluation of that place. It is the interaction between a place and an individual's mind that causes the image. However, after this level, a person's mind makes effective (positive or negative) reactions to the environment based on the cognition and evaluative processes. The result is an evaluative image (Nasar, 1998,4). In this study, the word of good image means an evaluative image resulted from the positive evaluation of a place.

2.2.1. Measuring good image

Many studies have investigated characteristic and qualities of a place to evoke positive and successful image in the mind of people who experience it. In this regard, qualities and features such as imageability (Lynch, 1960), likeability (Nasar, 1998), psychological access, receptivity, knowledgeability, memory and fear (Montgomery,

1998), have been repeatedly mentioned by authors. This paper in order to explore the main qualities explaining successful image (that is called good image in this paper) in the new town, used content analysis. In this way, studies related to the people-place relationship in the new towns of Iran are analyzed. Then, four qualities of imageability, likeability, memorability and sense of security are found as main criteria can explain the concept. These qualities are used to measure the good image as its constructs. After that, with the aid of the literature review, scales that can best measure these constructs or criteria are determined. Many researches, explore features that can describe a specific environmental quality. With few exceptions, the related literature has rarely attempted to measure these qualities objectively. Present paper uses explored scales to measure each quality objectively and make an operational definition of good image in the new town. Since, most of these scales are from European and American studies, authors link the explored literature to experts and users' opinion. Therefore, the validity of explored scales in measuring each quality in the new towns of Iran is tested. By questioning eight experts the validity of probed scales in explaining each construct is assessed, irrelevant and ineffective are removed, and a primary tool for measuring and comparing the image has been produced (Table 1). Each of these measures has been used to make the structured questionnaire. The response rating has been based on the 5-point Likert scale (By the mediocrity of 3). Users' opinion have been discussing in part 4.1.

3. Methodology

3.1. Data

Site study: Reminding starting question, site study shall be a place with low outcome of environmental qualities. In this situation, it can be seen if the time factor could have any spontaneous healing role in people-place relationship. Therefore, Parand new town with its features can fit the study reasons.

Parand new town is located in the southwest part of Tehran metropolitan, which has the highest population size in the new towns of Iran in recent years. Currently, Parand has 126,678 residents who 91,678 of them have moved there in the last two years, and others have settled before that (6 to eight years). Nevertheless, rate of population growth has not been proportional to the city facilities. Therefore, people of the town are still engaged in providing the basic needs. Massive housing cooperative such as Mehr have caused a monotony of social stratum inhabitants. The Atmosphere of the construction site has a negative impact on spaces and urban activities and has affected the city's townscape. Steady housing cooperative patterns with high density have made the different parts of town look similar to each other. The town is facing a severe loss of public space quality (Fig.2).

Table 1. Operational definition of good image.

Construct definition scales Expert evaluation Code in

(criteria) (mean) diagram

Imageability A quality in a place that evoke a Form attributes 4.14 X1.1

vivid and strong image in any Visibility attributes 4.28 X1.2

given observer by facilitating the Use and significance attributes 4.71 X1.3

perception of identity and Specific attributes 3.57 X1.4

structure of the place. Redundant(repetitive) attributes 3.57 X1.5

Memorability The ability of a place to associate Collective event 4.28 X2.1

memory and feeling and Vitality and people flow 3.85 X2.2

involving affective experiences. Walking absorbent 3.57 X2.3

intimate place 4 X2.4

Richness of places 4.14 X2.5

Engrave ability 4 X2.6

Time of event 2.85= -

Desire to recall 4.28 X2.7

Probability of memory association 4.28 X2.8

Level of interest 4.57 X3.1

Likeability The ability of a place to arouse pleasure 4.57 X3.2

positive evaluative response to it. arousal 4.14 X3.3

Previous experience 4.85 X4.1

Sense of Tranquillity associated with the Perception of Crime 4.28 X4.2

security place because of being supported Risk of trusting others 4.28 X4.3

against the crimes which have a Familiarity with neighbours 4.42 X4.4

significant role in identity related Social disorder 4 X4.5

to that place. Physical disorder 3.14 X4.6

Perception of others support 4.28 X4.7

Unofficial surveillance 4.14 X4.8

Official surveillance 3.85 X4.9

Patterns of occupation 2.14" -

Time of the day 3.57 X4.10

prospect 2.14" -

access 3.14 X4.11

Probability for concealing the attacker 3.42 X4.12

* Scales that are illuminated because of the mean lower than 3

Respondents: This study used a structured questionnaire. Face to face structured and formal interviews were used to obtain the data. Each respondent answered the question individually in 20 t0 25 minutes. Collecting data carried out in public spaces such as parks and house doorways. In this way, image of 151 residents of Parand included new and old ones, are surveyed. Demographic characteristics of sample consist of age (86.1% <30 years old), sex (43.7% male and 56.7% female), length of residence (43.7% newcomers and 56.3 % old residents), and former place of residing (41.7% from small town and 58.3% from big city).

Fig. 2. (a) Location of Tehran in Iran; (b) Location of Parand new town in Tehran metropolitan. (Source: Googlemap, 2015)

3.2. Creating tool (questionnaire)

- In providing the questionnaire, each scale has been determined as five-point scale proposition.

-Each proposition was questioned based on urban elements in three general categories of squares, streets and neighbourhoods.

- Validity of the questionnaire evaluated by first and second order confirmatory factor analysis.

3.3. Analysis technique

Data collection has taken place in two samples that included new residents and older ones, to make the latitudinal and longitunal evaluating of the image easier. The threshold of residence duration to distinguish newcomers and old inhabitants is assumed two years in this study. To achieve objectives and answer the questiona of the research,

Independent T-test and Multivariate analysis of variance have been used. 4. Findings and discussion

4.1. Model validation

Before entering the stage of analysing questions, validity of the questionnaire and good image model is assessed by first and second orders confirmatory factor analysis (Fig.3). All values of the factor loadings were greater than 0.7 and t-values calculated for each of them are finer than 1.96 (p<0.05). Therefore, the validation of questionnaire alignment is proved, and what researchers were trying to measure by questionnaire, is possible with this tool. Accordingly, relation between the constructs or latent variables is invoked (construct validity).

Index value of Cronbach's alpha which is used to evaluate reliability, is more than 0.7. This indicates the reliability of the measurement tools (Imageability AVE=0.76, CR=0.9396, Likeability AVE=0.759, CR=0.9236, Memorability AVE=0.562, CR=0.8553 and Sense of Security AVE=0.553, CR=0.9125).

For evaluating confirmatory factor analysis model in this research, The chi-square tests (x 2 =2.521) Goodness of Fit Index (GFI=0.87), Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI=0.81), Normed Fit Index (NFI=0.93), Non Normed Fit Index (NNFI=0.95), increased fit index (IFI=0.96), comparative fit index (CFI=0.95) and important index of Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA=0.084) Were used. As shown by fitness indicators data from this research is in harmony with the factor structure and theoretical foundation. This affair shows the alignment of questions with theoretical constructs.

Fig. 3. (a). Standardized estimation model; (b). T-Value Model.

Imageability has the highest (0.92), and likeability has the lowest (0.68) loading factor. Among scales of imageability, use and significance attributes; in memorability, intimate place; in likeability, level of interest and in the sense of security, social disorder has the highest loading factor.

4.2. Are there main differences between new and old residences' image of a new town?

As regards, residency period (two groups) is a qualitative attribute, to examine the effect of these variables on the image of the city, independent sample T-test was used. Results of analysis using independent sample T-test found no significant difference between image of old (M=2.6239) and new (M=2.6744) residents of Parand new town (P<0.05, T (149)=-0.714, Sig.=0.476). It means the public image of the city isn't influenced by the length of residence in the new town of Parand.

4.3. is there a significant positive relation between a good image and length of residence?

Due to the qualitative independent variables (residency period), and quantitative dependent variable (image) and considering the independent and dependent variables are multivariate, to analyze this question a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used. Levene test proves the equality of variances (Sig>0.05) Therefore, using MANOVA for comparing means is permissible. The results of variance analysis table indicate only two variables of neighbourhood imageability and neighbourhood memorability have a significant correlation with the period of residency (Sig<0.05). Findings show that level of imageability and memorability of older citizens are better (p<0.05) than the new ones (Table 2). However, other variables don't show any relation that means these variables are not affected by the period of residency (p<0.05, Sig>0.05).

Table 2. MANOVA results.

source Dependent variable Sum of squares df Mean of squares F Sig Partial Eta squared

Length of Squares imageability 1.349 1 1.349 2.662 0.105 0.018

residence Streets imageability 2.342 1 2.342 3.79 0.053 0.025

Neighbourhood imageability 2.775 1 2.775 6.417 0.012 0.041

Squares memorability 0.225 1 0.225 0.463 0.497 0.003

Streets memorability 0.013 1 0.013 0.031 0.86 0

Neighbourhood memorability 2.335 1 2.335 4.157 0.043 0.027

Squares likeability 0.004 1 0.004 0.009 0.924 0

Streets likeability 0.058 1 0.058 0.168 0.683 0.001

Neighbourhood likeability 1.407 1 1.407 3.786 0.054 0.025

Squares sense of security 0.184 1 0.184 0.238 0.626 0.002

Streets sense of security 0.511 1 0.511 0.73 0.394 0.005

Neighbourhood sense of security 0.569 1 0.569 1.008 0.317 0.007

Error Squares imageability 75.528 149 0.507

Streets imageability 92.062 149 0.618

Neighbourhood imageability 64.426 149 0.432

Squares memorability 72.322 149 0.485

Streets memorability 63.982 149 0.429

Neighbourhood memorability 83.691 149 0.562

Squares likeability 61.108 149 0.41

Streets likeability 51.515 149 0.346

Neighbourhood likeability 55.376 149 0.372

Squares sense of security 115.316 149 0.774

Streets sense of security 104.302 149 0.7

Neighbourhood sense of security 84.082 149 0.564

Total Squares imageability 76.877 150

Streets imageability 94.404 150

Neighbourhood imageability 67.201 150

Squares memorability 72.547 150

Streets memorability 63.995 150

Neighbourhood memorability 86.026 150

Squares likeability 61.112 150

Streets likeability Neighbourhood likeability Squares sense of security Streets sense of security Neighbourhood sense of security

51.573 150

56.783 150

115.501 150

104.813 150

84.65 150

4.4. Discussion

Based on the literature review, lengthening time and people-place interaction both have a positive significant relation. Nevertheless, the result of the study shows that time can't have any significance in this relationship spontaneously. Especially, when the qualities that environment presents are not adequate.

According to findings imageability of neighbourhood, in compare with streets and squares increased while residing. Two reasons can explain this result: First, probabilities of interaction frequency (Golledge,1992,205) and second, probabilities of more imageable features in the neighbourhood. According to Findings, level of imageability in neighbourhoods (M=2.19), streets (M=2.49) and squares (M=2.42) are less than average (<3). Therefore, growth of imageability of neighbourhood during residency depends on interaction frequency. In addition, interaction frequency can divide into two classes. One of them refers to the repeated exposure to a place without having a specific aim. The other one refers to being in contact with a place and integrating with the facilities through some activities happening within it (Ujang, 2008:2). Weak quality of public spaces in Parand makes interaction with places close to the first one. Probability of this kind of interaction in the neighbourhood is more than streets and squares because home and place of residing are in the neighbourhood. Whiles, quality of street and squares in Parand make the presence of people decreased and caused the interaction and creating a vivid image complicated. Interaction frequency can explain positive significant relation between memorability and length of residence too. Likeability deals with evaluative features of the image, which have good or bad value in the evaluative mind of people. Evaluations of residents about neighborhoods, streets and squares show that level of likeability is lower than average. There are no differences between new and old residents. It can be declared that features with negative values for newcomers have the same value for old inhabitants. Therefore, lengthening residence duration can't cause inappropriate features of place change to either appropriate or indifferent features. In contrast to the study done by Sakip and his colleagues (2013), this paper didn't find a significance relation between length of residence and sense of security. Sakip stated that people with residency duration lower than two years in compare with those who resides more than this time, have less sense of security (Sakip et al., 2013, 389).

Considering Maslow's model of human needs, people primarily want to respond to their essential needs rather than their superior needs. Some characteristics of the public spaces refer to primary human needs such as comfort, amenities and security, whereas some of them refer to superior human needs like aesthetics values, social interaction and the sense of belonging (Charkhchian&Daneshpour, 2010, 225). As mentioned before, Parand hasn't responded to people's needs adequately and by lengthening residence superior needs of residents haven't appeared. People with different stages of residing duration engage with their basic needs. This fact can be one of the variables influenced findings of this study. Furth more, this paper assumed two years is required for being familiar with the city. Nevertheless, observing no significance relation between good image and length of residence, threshold of more than two years was examined too but, the result was the same. Residing duration in parand new town is less than 8 years. Therefore, it can be declared when the environmental qualities are weak, accustoming and making any attachment to the place needs more time if we don't want to deny the effect of time on person-place relationship. Obviously, making any certain conclusion needs more and accurate researches.

The aim of this paper is assessing the correlation between goodness of image and length of residence. This correlation was examined in longitudinal and latitudinal views to the time factor. The image of two types of resident groups' namely new and old residents was compared. This study found that there is no significant different in the image of old and new inhabitants. Therefore, the public image of the city isn't influenced by the length of residence in Parand new town. On the other hand, by the longitudinal view finding hasn't shown a significant relation between duration of residence and goodness of image. It concludes that the image of the city isn't improved while residing,

5. Conclusion

and the time factor can't have any healing role in people-place relationship by itself. Moreover, this study found out imageability has the most correlation with good image. As limitation present study, this suggests that the strength of this finding may depend on other factors such as city responses to people needs. A suggestion for future study is to research the relationship between good image, length of residence and city response to people needs hierarchy.


This paper presents part of the main findings from an MA thesis that is supervised by the second author and recently completed in Iran University of Science and Technology. Authors appreciate experts who have been joined and supported them by their proper recommendations.


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