Investigation of place attachment to three scales of home, neighborhood and city, (Case study: Shiraz city)

Document Type : Research Paper


Attachment to place is the fourth level of the sense of place, which is the complex emotional relationship with place. A number of studies have been carried out into the notion of attachment to one or more locations around the world. In these studies, the same issue has been looked upon from different perspectives, thus leading to different results.  The present study aims to assess the relationship between intensity of attachment to place and scale of the place, taking a fresh approach. Accordingly, the factors contributing to the attachment to place have been examined in three "physical", "socio- demographic" and "emotional" dimensions. Physical factors have been divided into three scales of house, neighborhood and city. Social-demographic factors have been generalized to such variables as age, gender, level of education etc. Emotional factors have been extracted from 21 indices in the literature related to the concepts of place and attachment to place. In this research, 12 emotional and experiential cases were evaluated for each of the three place scales of interest for people with different demographic characteristics in Shiraz. In constructing the questionnaire, we made use of the Likert scale. The questionnaire consists of three sections. The first section was about seeking such demographic information as age, gender, level of education, etc. The second section consisted of questions investigating the different emotions of people toward three place scales. This section consists of three parts dealing with 12 indices for evaluation of the emotions of people (as considered in the theoretical framework of the study) of three scales of home, neighborhood and city separately. The third section consisted of the open-ended questions, dealing with the reasons and motivations of people in terms of their attachment to various place scales. The analysis of data has been accomplished using repeated measures and One-way ANOVA in which the mean value of the response by the participants in terms of each of the 12 indices of home, neighborhood and city was calculated. In order to analyze the qualitative data, we made use of content analysis to analyze the data obtained through open-ended questions. The results show that for the Shiraz citizens, the city scale has the highest level of intensity of attachment. They prefer to express the highest level of their emotional feelings to their urban space. The attachment to home is the second highest and the neighborhood is the Third. Factors such as “disappearance of neighborhood boundaries”, “diminishing of the neighborhood social function”, “the lack of specified physical context”, and finally “the movement of habitants to different neighborhoods” are the most important reasons justifying the low sense of attachment to the scale of neighborhood. The result revealed that out of the variables in question, two variables of age and the period of residence have direct effect on the intensity of attachment, which means that the attachment of people to various scales of place for various age groups, and also by increases in the duration of residence appear differently in the their home, neighborhood and city.


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