Interpreting the Factors in Forming the Sense of Place: The Case of Kuzguncuk Neighbourhood, Istanbul

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Hızlı Erkılıç N., Durusoy Özmen E., Taştan H.

ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, vol.9, no.1, pp.261-285, 2021 (ESCI)



Over the past few decades, cities have been subject to dramatic interventions such as rapid developments, increased modernization and capitalist production of spaces. These changes, occurring in parallel with globalization, have changed the long-lasting environmental perception and damaged the sense of attachment by transforming urban spaces into unidentified areas. In this regard, the main purpose of this paper is to explore the components of the sense of place and identifying its factors under the changing conditions. This conception aims to develop an integrated proposal that provides a better understanding of fluxional urban areas.


The methodology of this study consists of two parts; literature review and, field survey which adopts a qualitative approach through a web-based survey and semi-structured short interviews with locals. Within this scope, by chronologically reviewing the literature, the first part of the article questions how the sense of place can be defined and what components can serve to define its perception. In the second part, Kuzguncuk, which is one of the historical and most liveable neighbourhoods of Istanbul, is examined as the case study of this research. Due to its recent designation as an urban transformation area, the study focuses on to reinterpret Kuzguncuk according to its residents’ sense of place.


After the findings are obtained and evaluated with a five-point Likert scale, the effect levels of the components on the quality of urban areas and the satisfaction of the people in the neighbourhood are determined.

Research Limitations/Implications

Due to the pandemic measures, the survey conducted to the residents of Kuzguncuk was carried out digitally, and the interviews were realized by taking into account social distance.


This paper foresees to contribute to the literature by developing an empirical study on the concept of sense of place with its descriptive and interpretive approach. Further studies, which can utilize the results of this article, may answer questions about how the components related to sense of place sought out and reinterprets these factors over historical places.