Places and Non-places in today’s cities: Place Making Question and Environmental Aesthetics in Urban Design

Cities can be defined as cultural phenomena, created by societies, reflecting their ways of life, their relations with the nature, their socio-spatial practices and their ethic and aesthetic understanding. Theoreticians of architecture and urbanism, Camillo Sitte and later Aldo Rossi interpreted cities as collective œuvres that embody intrinsic aesthetic values. However, the harmony with nature and aesthetic coherence that have been inherent in historic towns, have been lost with the processes of modernization and ongoing urbanization of the world. Metropolises have been characterized by aesthetic complexity, expression of economic dynamism and cultural diversity. Faced with the complexities and contradictions resulted from rapid sociocultural and economic changes, one can not talk anymore about aesthetic coherence and integrity in today’s megalopolises. While searches for urban aesthetics in the name of “place identity” have been mostly constrained with motivations of social distinction, “non-places” become commonplace. In this presentation, rather than a stylistic exercise, urban aesthetics will be interpreted from the perspective of environmental aesthetics, based on a phenomenological approach that sees human beings’ perception and experience of the environment. In this context, the question of urban aesthetics will be discussed with particular focus on the notion of “sense of place” and existential relations of human beings with the natural and built-environment in which they live.


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Citation Formats
F. C. Bilsel, “Places and Non-places in today’s cities: Place Making Question and Environmental Aesthetics in Urban Design,” presented at the Urban Aesthetics Symposium, Antalya, Türkiye, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: