Changing sense of place in historic city centers : the case of Antalya Kaleiçi

Argın, Görsev
Nowadays, many cities try to turn their historic city centers into centers of attraction both for inhabitants and visitors by reorganizing and revitalizing them. These reorganization and revitalization processes change the users of the place as well as its physical structure. Thus, this change also creates deep impacts on human-place relationship. Traces of these impacts can be observed via ‘sense of place’ and ‘place image’ concepts. Studying these concepts is difficult due to their subjectivity; however, it is necessary to understand the change of place in all dimensions. It is possible to observe a similar process in Kaleiçi, the historic city center of Antalya. This research examines the process of change in Kaleiçi over the last five decades regarding the impacts on the ‘sense of place’ and ‘place image’. It identifies ‘physical setting’, ‘activity’ and ‘meaning’ as observable components of these concepts; and it examines the change in these components through the in-depth interviews with three different user groups (i.e., users before 1980, those after 1980 and present users) and cognitive maps. The research considers that the first conservation practices in Kaleiçi started in 1980s, thus, it examines the change in ‘sense of place’ under the headings of before 1980, after 1980 and present time. This research shows that the ‘sense of place’ and ‘place image’ between these user groups vary significantly. It indicates that the sense of place of the first user group is generated mostly regarding ‘meaning’ component shaped by experiences; whereas the sense of place of the second and third category users mostly relates with physical environment and historical identity of the place. Besides, this research comes to a conclusion that there is a direct link between the change in sense of place and the efforts of turning the area into a center of attraction for tourism.


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Citation Formats
G. Argın, “ Changing sense of place in historic city centers : the case of Antalya Kaleiçi ,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.