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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3100; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093100

Do Local Landscape Elements Enhance Individuals’ Place Attachment to New Environments? A Cross-Regional Comparative Study in China

1
College of Landscape Architecture, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
2
Department of Forest Resources Management, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
3
Faculty of Forestry, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
4
Institute of Landscape Architecture, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technische Universität Dresden, Helmholtzstraße 10, 01069 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract

Globalization and urbanization have made many Chinese cities lose their distinct characteristics and have led to emotional sense of loss for individuals. Place attachment, as encompassing place dependence and place identity, is the positive emotion that describes the psychological connections between people and a certain place. Many studies have indicated that people develop place attachment toward a certain place by long-term interaction with that place. However, few studies have demonstrated that place attachment might also be evoked by a landscape that looks familiar, but with which a person has not had long-term interactions. It is important to understand the role of place attachment in urban design, as neglecting place attachment can have a negative impact on the outcomes of urban planning and urban design. In this study we explored the contributions of local landscape elements to people’s place attachment to a new physical environment by means of a cross-regional comparative study. Three groups of respondents living in three different areas of China were chosen, and a photo-based approach was used to examine the association between local landscape elements and place attachment. The results indicate, first, that local landscapes positively contribute to residents’ place attachment. Next, an individual’s place attachment to new environments can be enhanced by adding familiar local landscape elements. Findings suggest that planners and designers can build stronger place attachment by integrating landscape elements that are familiar to people. This can have implications, for example, when creating links between newcomers and the new environments to which they have moved. View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape elements; local landscape; new environments; place identity; urban design landscape elements; local landscape; new environments; place identity; urban design
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Liu, Q.; Fu, W.; van den Bosch, C.C.K.; Xiao, Y.; Zhu, Z.; You, D.; Zhu, N.; Huang, Q.; Lan, S. Do Local Landscape Elements Enhance Individuals’ Place Attachment to New Environments? A Cross-Regional Comparative Study in China. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3100.

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