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Understanding identity and belonging through incidental spaces

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Proceedings of the ICE - Urban Design and Planning
Issue number4
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)165-174
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/07/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The dynamic changes in contemporary urban living have led to an increasingly ambiguous and complex nature of spatial experiences in cities. This characteristic nature of urban environment seldom allows for a spontaneous and meaningful spatial engagement making it difficult for developing a sense of place and identity with the environment. In the context of this existing complexity of urban spatialities and changing notions of place/space relationship, this paper is set out to explore the potentialities of unconventional urban spaces - referred to in this paper as ‘incidental spaces’ - for developing a sense of identity and belonging in everyday spatial practices. Discussion in this paper is based on a case study conducted to study people’s spatial behaviour and practices in various incidental spaces in Sheffield, UK, with focus on how it enables construction/negotiations of sense of place and identity. The paper offers valuable insights to architects and planners for creating places that facilitate meaningful place engagement in the contemporary context.