Handbook of Behavioral and Cognitive Geography
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Handbook of Behavioral and Cognitive Geography

Edited by Daniel R. Montello

This comprehensive Handbook summarizes existing work and presents new concepts and empirical results from leading scholars in the multidisciplinary field of behavioral and cognitive geography, the study of the human mind, and activity in and concerning space, place, and environment. It provides the broadest and most inclusive coverage of the field so far, including work relevant to human geography, cartography, and geographic information science.
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Chapter 16: Place

Pragya Agarwal

Abstract

This chapter focusses on the concepts of place and sense of place. Meaning is critical in the determination and application of geographic place, but the semantics are disparate in different discourses and lack clear definition. Place is inherently spatial, but place is not static—time cannot be detached from place. Temporality in place is also an uncertain subject, first because the issue of time is complex in itself and second because the different dimensionalities associated with formation of place make the dynamics of temporal association in place complex to resolve. Not only is time associated with change in the physical aspects of place, but also the meanings of place are variable and dynamic, with different dimensions and variables becoming salient in different contexts. Places are created by experiences and learned through multi-sensory reflective learning. We form a sense of place as we navigate and find our way in a spatial environment, but it is unclear whether this is a feeling, an attachment, merely an idea, or a well-formed construct. This chapter summarizes and discusses these various perspectives on place and sense of place.

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