Sense of Place: Its History, Evolution, and Present Application




Milling, Charles R

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To date, the concept of ‘sense of place’ has/is used in several disciplines and interdisciplinary applications. Are these different fields using the term differently and, if so, how? Does the concept prove useful in academic, political and other fields? What is(are) the origin(s) of the concept, how did it evolve in its meaning and uses over time, and how is it being used today? In this thesis my main objective is to disentangle the many meanings of the term to provide others using it in contemporary contexts with an exhaustive and comprehensive review of the term in hopes that this will increase the concept’s utility. To these ends, the overarching question of my thesis is, “What are the origin(s), evolution(s) and present-day uses of the concept of ‘sense of place’? My primary goal was to provide a historical review and see where the concept originated, either in one or more than one context, how the meanings differ or overlap, and how the uses changed over time and to the present day. Once I have completed this thorough and exhaustive review as described, I will add some ideas about the possibility of a unifying theme. However, this is tangential and speculative at best, seeing as my main effort is tracing the concept’s history, evolution and contemporary uses.



Sense of place, Sustainability, Place identity, Place attachment