The role of activity in shaping identity of place. The case of the Lace Market. Nottingham

Almakkas, A.A., 2020. The role of activity in shaping identity of place. The case of the Lace Market. Nottingham. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Urban identity is influenced by the activities that inform urban spaces; these activities, in turn, construct meanings that are embedded in urban settings and people perceive as identity. Thus, issues of identity are particularly significant in districts with variable activities, which transform the perceptions of place identity. This research answers the research question: How do activities influence the perceptions of place identity? It achieves this by examining the processes of identity transformation over the past two centuries for the Lace Market area of Nottingham, England and by tracing the effects of activity change on place identity in time. This area has faced significant changes in its activities, which shifted from predominantly industrial place, where lace was manufactured and exported around the world, to an abandoned place before becoming the prosperous and recreational location of today.

The study adopted numerous sources; documents, interviews, mental mapping, and direct observation were the main methods used to gather primary data. The documents were significant in building an understanding the overall evolutionary course of the Lace Market. They introduced insights into the collection of activities that have formed the Lace Market's historical development and issues of place identity. Further key sources of evidence were face-to-face semi-structured interviews, while cognitive maps with two different user groups (before and after the area's regeneration) were conducted. The features were indicated in the interviews and the drawings were based on users' perceptions over time and the elements of place identity that were considered important. The data provides significant descriptive and analytical insights to transform users' perceptions and experiences. The final method was the site observation method, which was used to record people's movements and interactions with physical settings. It aims to identify the characteristics of place and the kind of activities that support place identity.

The results indicate that urban activity has a meaningful role in continuing the Lace Market's identity. It is a key factor in urban regeneration within traditional settings where converted usage is significant in creating and embedding meanings within current social and urban settings. Furthermore, the study finds that a lack of activity is the major cause of weak people-place relationships and of weakened embedded meanings within a setting. It can be inferred that activities enhance the development and maintenance of relationships between users and place, which in turn promote emotional bonds with the place. This process can be developed into perceptions of place identity. Finally, the results are used to propose recommendations to enable a more sustainable path for neighbourhood urban design.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Almakkas, A.A.
Date: October 2020
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Oct 2021 13:55
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 13:55
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44549

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