Scholarly article on topic 'Promotion Quality of Life by Increasing Place Attachment in Public Places'

Promotion Quality of Life by Increasing Place Attachment in Public Places Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Shahrzad Firouzmakan, Seyed Abdolhadi Daneshpour

Abstract The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the quality of urban life and place attachment and determine factors to create place attachment. The method of this research is qualitative-descriptive and analytic. Principles, criteria and some standards are prepared by the library resources. After analyzing the data that is collected through a survey (such deep interviews with residents of the neighborhood of Tehran and inventory) are adapted to the site. Finally, design strategies and policies are offered for creating place attachments, promoting social relationships, attracting residents and increasing citizen participation in urban and neighborhood issues.

Academic research paper on topic "Promotion Quality of Life by Increasing Place Attachment in Public Places"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 (2015) 418 - 428

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

Tehran, Iran

Promotion Quality of Life by Increasing Place Attachment in Public

Places

Shahrzad Firouzmakana*, Seyed Abdolhadi Daneshpourb

aStudent of master degree at Department of architecture, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran,

bAssociate Professor< of Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran, Daneshpour@ iust.ac.ir

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the quality of urban life and place attachment and determine factors to create place attachment. The method of this research is qualitative-descriptive and analytic. Principles, criteria and some standards are prepared by the library resources. After analyzing the data that is collected through a survey (such deep interviews with residents of the neighborhood of Tehran and inventory) are adapted to the site. Finally, design strategies and policies are offered for creating place attachments, promoting social relationships, attracting residents and increasing citizen participation in urban and neighborhood issues.

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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.

Keywords'. Place attachment; place identity; quality of life; public places

1. Introduction

Together with the expansion of human communities and also changing people's lifestyles, architects', urban designers' and planners' attention to the quality of the spaces and the built environment have increased. The role of designing as a way of shaping the environment and responding the expectations and needs of communities have become more significant. Many studies have been done on subjects such as belonging, place attachment, place affiliation, sense of place and other elements of this kind and how the built environment and human behavior interact. Indeed, Place attachment is the important issue that forms the focus of this study. Indeed, Place attachment

* Corresponding author. Tel.: 00905534143338. E-mail address: Firouzmakan.arch@gmail.com.

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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.2015.08.197

is the important question that this paper has focused on it; specially attention to the emotional aspects in addition to physical factors in.

2. Quality of life

Studying Quality of life (QOL) in urban design has attracted widespread research attention in recent years (Rezvani et al., 2012). This term is the general well-being of individuals and societies. Standard indicators of QOL include not only wealth and employment, but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, leisure time, and social belonging (www.wikipedia.com).

Raphael and his colleagues, define quality of life as the extent to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his life (Raphael, 1996). Diener and Suh (1997) define QOL as life satisfaction (Kampb et al., 2003). In Veenhoven's opinion (1996), QOL is happy life expectancy which means product score of life expectancy (in years) and the average happiness (Kampb et al., 2003). According to Lansing and Marans's definition (1969), QOL is 'an environment of high quality conveys a sense of well-being and satisfaction in its population through characteristics that may be physical, social or symbolic' (Kampb et al., 2003).

Quality of life is a multi-dimensional concept (Giilersou et al., 2009), which includes aspects of social, economic, environmental, health and psychological wellness (Feneri et al., 2013). QOL has different meanings for different individuals and groups. According to Liu (1976), 'there are as many QoL definitions as there are people' (Dunning et al., 2008). Some pundits have interpreted it as the viability of the area;, some experts have interpreted it as a measure of the attractiveness, and others have defined it as social welfare, happiness, satisfaction. However, there isn't a universally accepted definition of this concept. Many researchers believe that the quality of life is a multi-faceted concept, partially, influenced by the time, place, personal and social values. Moller defined QOL as individuals and group's well-being under the terms of social and economic situations (Moller, 1998; Foo,2000; Cutter, 1985). Schoemaker defines QOL as overall satisfaction with life (Foo, 2000; Nasution & Wahyuni, 2012; Nasution & Wayne, 2012).

2.1. Quality of urban life

Quality of people's lives in an urban area is the outcome of people interacting with the urban environment (Das, 2008). Quality of urban life may be good feeling that comes as the result of a combination of factors related to a sense of place such as legibility, group memory, and historical place attachment. What is important here, is our direct emotional connection with the built environment around us. In other words, our feelings are the emotional reaction to our mentality and the structure and its principal components (Gorden, 1992).

• Factors affecting the quality of urban life

According to the definitions given above, it can be said that QOL is a broad and qualitative concept that researchers cannot offer precise definitions for it. Quality of life, not only is relative to researchers and authorities, But also any citizen residing in a city or even a neighborhood has different definitions of it. Some researchers such as Lee, David Harvey, Professor Duhul, pointed to the impact of active local communities, municipal services in response to human needs and reasonable social relations in the neighbourhood and the city (Lee, 2008; Bahreini & Tabibian, 1998).

2.2. Quality of Life Indicators

QOL can be evaluated by both objective and subjective indicators (Lee, 2008; Noelker & Harel, 2001; Maclaren, 1996; Grayson, 1994; Dissart & Deller, 2000).

Objective indicators are associated with observable, tangible and actual life's facts and include facilities and urban services. Subjective indicators include psychological aspects like security, place attachment, neighborhood satisfaction, happiness, and satisfaction according to responding to their needs. In fact responding to the needs of people brings about a feeling of joy, place attachment, appreciation of it, satisfaction with cultural facilities, recreational areas, all of which result in a satisfactory living environment and therefore improve the quality of life.

According to Maslow's model, human needs include basic needs, cultural needs, economic and social needs, affiliation needs or group attachment needs, as well as esthetic and cognitive needs.

Table 1. Indicators of quality of life assessment.

Goal Criteria Indicator Presenters

Objective Facilities and urban services Satisfaction Satisfaction of place attachment Satisfaction of amenities Satisfaction of educational facilities Satisfaction of Access to Services

Evaluation of quality of life Subjective Happiness Safety Satisfaction with neighborhood Meet the needs (social, economic, cultural and needs to dependence and esthetic needs)

In fact, by creating a public area and community facilities, allowing cultural activity, providing quality which responds to the people's aesthetic needs, and giving consideration to factors influencing place attachment in design (which responds to the attachment to human needs), one improves quality of life and promotes identity. Community facilities respond to the needs of the human community and encourage social interaction.

Public areas create the context of social interaction and so community centers are focal points, the most common local area for use as public gathering places. If they are designed as an urban space, they can improve identity and increase the place attachment.

2.3. Place attachment

Brown and Perkins believe that place attachment includes experienced positive bond which is formed over time, consciously or unconsciously, based on behavioral, emotional, and cognitive factors in individuals, groups and also in the physical and social environment. This attachment creates a framework for personal and community identity (Brown & Perkins, 1992). Low and Altman define place as 'an attachment to, or a symbolic relationship with the place, which is formed by giving emotional meanings and common sense to a particular area or territory' (Low & Altman, 1992). Various trends and factors cause this place attachment. Positive experiences, memories, and special events create place attachment. Teaching and learning experiences are useful factors in place attachment. Usually, sweet educational experience that happened at a particular location gives that place a definite value.

2.4. Relationship between place identity, place attachment, a sense of place and meaning

Place attachment relates to some words such as sense of place, identity, and meaning. Sense of place means the subjective people's perception of and their feelings of their environment. Sense of place is not just an emotional feeling, but also a cognitive structure to which a person gives or links his meanings. It is a result of people's different experiences, motivations, intellectual background, and the environment's physical characteristics (Hashemnezhad et al., 2013). Sense of place brings about comfortable feeling at a location, supports social and

cultural relationship of people at a particular location and causes people to recall past experiences and achieve identity.

Place attachment is a positive dimension of total sense of place and emotional attachment that an individual develops for a place (Stedman, 2003). Shamai determines three main steps "belonging to a place, attachment to a place, place commitment" with seven levels (Shamai, 1991).

Place attachment is considered as a level at which people have a strong and complex emotional relationship with the place. The place is meaningful and significant to them and has developed a unique symbolic identity and character. According to Lynch, space must have the perceptual identification and must be recognizable, memorable and apparent to create a sense of place. Identity or sense of place can lead to creating place attachment and ultimately create a durable community in the city and, of course, place attachment is considered as an element that strengthens identity (Lynch, 1984). Murray (2007) also explores the influence of location and the notion of place attachment on identity Formation (Mahon et al., 2009). To know himself and to get his identity, man starts trying to reach the approximate cognition with finding similarities and differences with the outside world. To obtain this goal, he tries to become closer to himself by finding pieces of his existence in the outside world by viewing similarities between himself and the outside world. He can compare with others and know himself better by finding entirely different entities.

The sum of these human existence factors addresses himself to the outside world, (for example, within an object, human space or any other factor). He feels the object close to him and part of his existence by viewing himself and his characteristics within an object.

Now, any other space which better addresses the human, becomes more coordinated with habits and behaviour patterns and more powerfully sends memories, expectations and wishes, this space will create more place attachment to the people (Pakzad, 2003).

If a space has lack of distinction, people cannot know it, and this causes disconnection between the individual and the environment. So place attachment as one of the most essential qualities of the city is never formed (Daneshpour, 2004). Place attachment is associated with "meaning". The simplest meaning of this word is limited to the general concept of identity. The meaning of a place is, the extent to which a person can recognize as a distinct place from other location so that it can have specific, unique, or at least its own personality (Lynch, 1984).

2.4.1. Factors affecting the promotion of place identity and creating place attachment

Based on the given entries, place attachment strengthens the place identity. According to table 2, by creating public spaces that allow the formation of group memories and cause social interaction to be enhanced, place attachment can be formed. Addressing the factors in designing which improve the quality of place, are crucial to creating place attachment. The relationship between man and space is reciprocal. As a space affects the man, man impact on the environment and space. People show their sensitivity to the urban environment when they feel the space close to themselves. When they have labored, they will attach the more value to it. People are always trying to create and modify the environment, according to their needs and taste and have more traction in the places that have been affected in some way by them. Experience has shown that a space or an architectural element makes more place attachment in people who have affected it than those who had no role in its formation. So it should be considered a place to the public participation in urban areas to reinforce a sense of involvement among people.

Experts consider several factors as practical factors in improving the quality of place. Rosen Mawson investigates features such as the shape and mass, proportion and scale, rhythm, texture, materials, light and color as factors affecting the visual appearance, character of the building and its quality. Chapman considers confinement, penetration and placement nodes in the project as some factors that influence the quality of place. Cy Paumier discusses items such as "the creation of a leading identity (top), creating variety, ensuring functional and visual continuity, maximizing ease of use, providing comfort as the factors affecting the quality of place (Paumier, 2004). Bentley in his book "responsive environments" suggests some principles like "readability, variety, penetration, flexibility, proportions (qualitative) visual, sensory richness and place attachment" for improving demand qualities for a variety of accommodations (Bentley, 1985).

Brian Goodey, a prominent theorist of urban issues in 1993 in his article "The gentleman in Verona quality urban design" discussed liveliness, harmony with the context, variety, human scale, penetration, ability to "personalize"

the place (his stamp on the space), readability, flexibility, ability to deliberate and also controlled "change" (Goodey, 1993).

Michael Southworth, one of the famous graduates of the School of Urban Design and Lynch's disciple, in the paper entitled" Theory and Practice of Contemporary Urban Design," expresses structure, readability, form, sense of place, identity, views and vistas, and human scale as active factors (Southworth, 1989).

These obtained factors from sources were checked with Pardisan residents (a neighborhood in Tehran). They were asked about their feeling about their neighborhood and place attachment and the factors. Questionnaire about place attachment included questions about their nostalgia, moving from their neighborhood, liking it, a sense of their participation in community improvement. Other questions are testing and include from low to high range. The resulted factors, are shown in table no 2.

Table 2. The factors affecting the promotion of place attachment.

Factors influencing the promotion of place attachment

Explanations

Factors affecting the creation of place attachment

Cultural factors (Newell, 1997)

Place attachment relates to those activities that

people do in their cultural requirement setting that are related to groups, families and society members (Newell, 1997; Hashemnezhad & others, 2013)

Use cultural symbol to create familiar senses in users.

Personal factors

Place attachment differs from person to person. People attach to place due to their conscious tendencies that result from personal characteristics

Memories and experiences

(Eisenhauer et al., 2000; Moore &

Graefe, 1994; Williams et al., 1992; Tuan, 1974; Marcus, 1992; Riley, 1992)

Create public spaces

The formation of group memories creates different feeling and senses.

Social factors (Hashemnezhad et al., 2013)

Place social compatibility in place and its power is directly related attachment develops with people positive interaction.

Increase formal and informal participation

Design participation

considering a place to people's participate in urban areas, and strengthening people's sense of contribution.

Use flexibility in designing

Interaction and activity features/being adapted with the habits and activities

( Hashemnezhad et al., 2013)

Use of flexibility and allows the adaptation of the users' activities

Use flexibility in designing

readability variety

Physical factors (Place satisfaction)

Responding to human needs increase place satisfaction and; as a result, cause Promotion quality of life.

penetration flexibility proportions

Physical comfort level Esthetic aspects

Confinement

• Quality of public spaces

One of the most important factors affecting the use of public buildings is a variety of opportunities to sit down. Public spaces should be provided with enough places to sit and sitting areas can be shaped in staircases, with short walls and against edges which are created in public places. A feeling of sensory richness and visual attraction are established by the use of appropriate and unique flooring textures. Pools, water features, billboards and also public art, such as sculptures, should be used for excitement and for satisfying the senses, improving the environment, creating meaning and recalling the history and identity of its society. In the design of public spaces, it should be considered that quality of all scales (from general concepts to details) brings about an increase in the pleasure and admiration of its users (Paumier, 2004). Paying more attention to sensory richness can overcome the lack of place attachment in important public places. Specifically, if a building is not designed to create place attachment, entering into a high degree of place attachment may be considered as an imposition on the public (Bentley, 1985).

Designing central locations can increase their ability to attract and accommodate a variety of activities. Providing capacity of different user flexibility creates both a physical comfort level and mental relaxation and can also increase the quality (Paumier, 2004).

• The relationship between factors affecting the quality of the place and Iranian architecture concepts

Some of these cited factors are also used in Islamic architecture and are consistent with its theory. That can be cited "the use of proportion, human scale, architectural link with nature, readability, harmonic balance (responding to climate), liveliness and variety architecture" in Islamic architecture. Human scale has been a tenet of Iranian architecture for a long time. Empathy and respect for nature has deep cultural roots and, in Iranian architecture, liveliness and diversity are evident.

The portico, verandah, skylights, such as Stained glass, sash, Orosi windows and Goljam have the role of adjusting the lighting, adapting to climate and also have considerable effects on creating lively space by using vignetting. Stained glass not only has a role in proper protection against the Iran sun's heat but also reflects light in many different colors that variety gives the particular manifestation of a place.

Interior space changes at every hour of the day under impact of the play of light and color, and ejects the space outside the monotony. Also, use of water in Iranian architecture makes the liveliness. Motion and life have been accompanied by the flow of water. Simple and composite forms were used more in Iranian architecture to enhance readability.

2.5. Design strategies to create place attachment

Based on the information stated above, it can be considered by using objectives and factors, such as social factors for strengthening the sense of community, physical factors for improving the quality of public places, functional neighborhood's independence, augmentation of hiking, and also emphasis on morphological aspects, place attachment can be increased. Objectives, strategies, programs, design strategies for creating place attachment are given in table no 3.

Harmony with the habits and behavior

The use of large and flexible space-the freedom to choose

Increase place attachment

ity) informal religious and cultural activities in the

participation region and increase social

participation of the residents in local

community groups such as celebrations and mourning tailored to particular days - competitions - a weekly market.

Maintaining and Continuing cultural and religious ceremonies in the

neighborhood. Pay attention to the impact of the safety of increasing the residents' participation.

Considering multi-purpose space related to usage associated with a particular event, such as the opened and closed amphitheater, multi-purpose hall, half-open spaces.

Pedestrian paths in the neighborhood should be safe to transport at different times of the day.

Make the culture through instructive public spaces.

Form different groups with shared goals, under the auspices of the local popular management (such as local sports groups) and predict activity contexts, that associated with the aims and characteristics of the group in the neighborhood.

Paying attention to the impact of the liveliness and the Significance of the exercise and mobility

Considering the facilities to users such as discount card or sweepstakes, competition, etc., to increase public participation in cultural activities.

Liveliness

Increasing resident's satisfaction by using

the variety of activities in public arena and

Behavioral adjustment and congruence.

Paying attention to the group gathering spaces' landscape that can cause people stay more in public spaces.

Considering sporting and cultural public

places (open and closed areas, multipurpose spaces (for use of sports, cultural like exhibition, open and closed amphitheater).

Equipping parks and public areas with sports game devices with the ability to

play single-player and multiplayer, considering multi-purpose spaces for neighborhood sports competitions and events and exercise classes.

Signifying the combination of open and

closed space, natural and built environment and the richness of sensory

applications, using arts, elements and architects(fountain, public art, including

sculptures) to stimulate the human senses, creating meaning and reminders of history and society's identity.

Set flower shop in indoors/closed areas to increase the liveliness.

Physical factors

(improving the quality of public places)

Users' satisfaction

increases their happiness and, as a result, cause their appreciation of the

physical environment and

Responding to climate issues to reduce the use of artificial energy

Use a combination to create solid and hollow shape. Use central courtyard.

Orientate appropriately to use more favorable sunlight. Use passive solar system in building design.

Use proportions - the human scale -

Functional neighborhood'

independence

improve their quality of lives. In addition, improving the quality of public spaces increases the level of residents' participation in public space.

Mixed use

Provision of local services can cause residents' satisfaction.

Promoting esthetic quality.

Developing functional quality -Embed recreational and public areas. These areas should be available for different people with different needs. The place is attractive in itself. This population's participation in this field could create social activities.

Public territories are vulnerable and insecure in the passive hour, so the combination of night functions is recommended.

Encourage residents to protect recreational and services' equipment of the local public arenas.

Creating reliable repaired/ service groups in the neighborhood and get the help of this prominent group of the technical problems.

Create a co-operative of means such as ladders, oaring, and other needed tools in neighborhood centers.

Providing domestic services in the adjacent public spaces

readability - confinement - visual-richness - coordinating with current context - diversity and vitality.

Consider available and various spaces to suit all ages.

Pay attention to select a suitable site (Locate recreational and public places in the central area, an accessible location and in the crowded and heavily traveled area).

Consideration of nightly function such as the agency will increase the security of the streets.

Need an area for storing/putting equipments to lend to residents (need )in required times.

Augmentation of hiking

Increase immunity and security of the environment.

Designing shouldn't lead to the creation of non-visible spaces and uncontrollable spaces that undermine the safety of the enviromnent.

To create an emotional and mental residents' well-being, abandoning spaces where social surveillance is not possible.

Elements that are not coarse commensurate with the human scale, are weak roles of the physical and the social dimension of the neighborhoods and mass of the building should be shaped on the based on the human scale.

Residents' safety (in particular for those who live alone) can be increased by raising the possibility of monitoring the street and clarifying areas

Use bright lights in the paths, embed the nightly function.

Creating an Materials utilized in the flooring

available public should be such that it doesn't prevent

space.

people's movement, including the elderly, disabled, women, children.

Use of lifts, ramps to connect different height levels.

Pay attention to the design standards for the disabled.

Consider various activities for different age-groups.

Emphasis on morphologica 1 aspects.

Preserve and Promote visual character of the neighborhood.

Preserve topographic and natural land 's sleep and unique backgrounds/context features.

3. Conclusion

Based on the above entries, it can be concluded that promoting quality of place increases residents' Satisfaction and creates both place attachment and place identity.

This study seeks to examine the effect of place attachment on quality of life. Design strategies and policies are offered for creating place attachments, promoting social relationships and increasing public participation in urban and community design.

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