Reading: A Study of the Influence of the Physical Changes in the Built Environment on the Changing Ch...

Download

A- A+
dyslexia friendly

Articles

A Study of the Influence of the Physical Changes in the Built Environment on the Changing Character of the Place: an SIRN Approach

Authors:

Nileesha Senavirathna ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About Nileesha
Department of Town & Country Planning
X close

Jagath Munasinghe

University of Moratuwa, LK
About Jagath
Department of Town & Country Planning
X close

Abstract

The relationship between the ‘constituents of a place’ and its 'character’ has throughout been a matter of research for many studies in planning and urban design. In all previous studies this relationship has often been conceptualized as one-way process based upon environmental determinism. Therefore, character of a place is conventionally regarded as a static phenomenon affected by the physical changes in the built environment. Contesting this conventional understanding, this study models the relationship between the physical environment of a place and its character as a mutually trading and ever evolving phenomenon that has to be conceptualized only through a comprehensive understanding of the process than the resultant static end-situations. With the changing urban environment in a major street in Colombo this study demonstrates that individuals’ experience shapes the place character and the same character generated by the individuals’ reproduction process of the place in turn shapes their own experience, and such experience then shapes their cognition of the place, which is a cyclic process. The demonstrative model suggests that neither the memory of the place nor the perception of its character are internal to individuals, while neither the shaping of the physical environment nor the generated character of the place are external to its users. Rather, the place, its charterer and its experience are results of a process of transactions between the place and its users. Such a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of a place character is important for planners and urban designers to successfully engage in making responsive urban environments. The study is based on the concept of 'Synergetic Inter-Representation Network Model' proposed by Portugali and Haken (1996) and the ‘Transactional theory’ by Wapner (1987) to model the character of the place and its relationship with the physical environment in a novel manner. The physical changes in the environment and the user experience are elicited in the form of participatory observation, sketch maps, photographic surveys and in-depth interviews.

How to Cite: Senavirathna, N. & Munasinghe, J., (2015). A Study of the Influence of the Physical Changes in the Built Environment on the Changing Character of the Place: an SIRN Approach. Bhumi, The Planning Research Journal. 4(1), pp.14–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/bhumi.v4i1.2
Published on 01 Sep 2015.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus