An Assessment of the relationship between changes in the identity of Baku Bulvar and people’s identification with this setting

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2017
Sekiliyev, Orxan
Places change as societies change. In today’s global context, various scholars argue that the majority of urban transformation processes threaten the identity of places by creating homogenized and standardized environments. Furthermore, a review of the place identity literature shows that not only the identity of places but also identification of users with these places is threatened. This research investigates people’s identification with Baku Bulvar regarding the changes in the identity of this setting. By focusing on the Baku Bulvar case, it concentrates on the historical formation of the identity of this place (pre-socialist, socialist and post-socialist periods), components of identity of this setting (physical setting, activities and meanings) from 1980s to the present, and identification of users with this area from 1980s to the present. The historical analysis shows that changes in social, economic, political and cultural factors influenced the identity of the Bulvar. Massive transformations are observed in post-socialist period. After dissolution of USSR, the area has subjected to various redevelopment projects, which aimed to promote a new identity for the Bulvar. Practices were aimed to turn the site into a representative profile of post-socialist Baku in the global arena. As such, meanings attributed to the site by users have changed. This study also shows that in addition to psychological aspects (past experiences/memories, beliefs) of individuals, quality of physical environment (e.g. being clean, safe), activities (e.g. diversity, land-use mix) and social environment (affordable, accessible) play a significant role in people’s identification with place. The results of this study will help urban planners and designers to create better environments that strengthen and enhance place identity.
Citation Formats
O. Sekiliyev, “An Assessment of the relationship between changes in the identity of Baku Bulvar and people’s identification with this setting,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.