The Role of festivals in urban identity: a study on the relationship between perception and experience of place; case of Şeb-i Arus

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2017
Fındıklar, Çiğdem
Festivals, besides their entertainment features, constitute connections between communities and places. Collective perceptions and experiences about a place generate the identity of that place. Since festivals have stories about their locals or themes that appeal for specific groups, they can be defined as place icons which contribute the symbols of peoples’ memories and experiences that make the place more personal and unique. In the global competition of cities, festivals are often placed among the first dynamics. While their economic impact is considered in urban policies, this study tries to answer which inputs create this impact. Therefore, the environmental psychology aspects of urban design are discussed in the context of festivals. Considering religion is a powerful tool to create collective identity in Turkey, a case study that has considerable support from government is chosen. Şeb-i Arus is taken as a festival due to its religious theme and meaning. Besides the strong relationship between Konya and Rumi in the context of urban identity, Şeb-i Arus Festival has been investigated as an essential concern in this respect. Since uniqueness is the key feature for creating place identity, festivals that are unique to their places can play a major role in identity of place. Festival analyzes in the context of experience of place show that unique characteristics of the festivals in terms of meaning, activity and form can enable their cities be perceived as unique. However, inappropriate design decisions which affect activity and form components may create similar festival places in different cities and change the identity of the cities. For this reason, festivals are presented as dynamic urban elements which may affect the urban identity.  
Citation Formats
Ç. Fındıklar, “The Role of festivals in urban identity: a study on the relationship between perception and experience of place; case of Şeb-i Arus,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.