changing places part 1


space and place


  • a continuous area or expanse which is free, available or unoccupied
  • the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move


  • a particular position, point, or area in space; a location
  • a portion of space designated or available for or being used by someone 

power of place

the power of a place in political protest has arisen recently in reactions to unpopular political regimes and problems asociated with capitalism. a 'powerful' place, such as a landmark draws more attention to a protest.

belonging to a place

to be part of a community. belonging keeps a place sustainable and successful.

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Transition Town movement

organisation founded in 2007 in response to climate change and peak oil. has tackled many issues including those associated with globalisation.

it is about what you can create with people in your street to rebuild and reimagine your town, and using community to transform a town.

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key terms (Glastonbury)


'where' a place is, e.g the coordinates on a map, a point in space. e.g Glastonbury is in the county of Somerset, 23 miles south of Bristol.


takes into account the effect that people have on their setting. in terms of locale, a place is shaped by the people, cultures and customs within it. locales are settings for everyday life like workplaces or churches. e.g Glastonbury has a unique character, one of the most spiritual sites in the country, it's pagan beleifs are still very much celebrated.

sense of place

is the subjective and emotional attachment that people have to a place. may be completeley different from other's perspectives. e.g Glastonbury is a place of great spiritual importance for peorple interested in paganism, religious connections or the King Arthur affilation, for others it evokes emotions about the music festival at Worthy Farm in Pilton.

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sense of place

individual sense of place

our emotional attachement to a place, brought together by what our senses experience.

topophilia/ topophobia

the affective bond betwen people and place or setting/ an aversion to or hatred of place.

cultural sense of place

a set of characteristics particular to a particular area of the world: a city, e.g New York. 

genius loci

another concept that illustrates the idea of cultural sense of place

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theorising place


the idea that the world is a set of places and each place can be studied and is distinct. focuses on the unique characteristics of a place.

sense constructionist

sees a place as a product of a particular set of social processes occuring at a particular time. focuses on why a place is the way it is.


is interested in how individuals experience place, and the personal relationship between a person and place. focuses on how places are percieved, experienced and given meaning.

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positionality and place

positionality is factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, politics and class that influence how we percieve different places.

women and place

gender affects how we experience place. e.g harassment of women on public transport, mexico city

race and place

racial identity affects how we experience place. e/g Black Lives Matter campaign in the US is a response to the large numbers of African American men who experience police violence in public spaces, or who are guilty only of 'walking while black'

age and place

age affects how we experience place. as the world's population ages, urban planners become more sensitive to the ways older people experience public places, leading to the concept of 'age-friendly cities'

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case study: KOS, GREECE

Kos is one of Greece's Dodecanese islands. the island has a long coastline lined with sandy beaches and a mountainous interior. the captial is the harbour town of Kos town; there are also traditional towns and hilltop villages. Kos has a rich archaeological landscape of castles, ancient temples and Roman ruins.

Different presentations/perceptions of Kos:

tourist website 'fringed by the finest beaches...endless suprises and varied treasures..mighty medieval castles'- a tourists perception of Kos

the Guardian (description of refugees) 'at times these waters can be full of them.. about 850,000 men women and children, most from war torn least 366,000 ave already sought refuge in Europe after crossing the Mediterranean.. estimated 1,000 pitch up every day' - a refugees perception of Kos

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contested places

people experiencing places differently can lead to places being contested (not everyone can agree what it means).

Jon Anderson suggested places can be given meaning by the traces that exist with them.

e.g Trafalgar Square

Statue of Admiral Lord Nelson, (commemorating his naval victory over combined French and Spanish fleets in 1805.)

Anti-Iraq war protests, 2004 (protests where people rail against the British state, links to power of place)

Fourth Plinth: State of Alison Lapper (art installations reflect the notion that London though being a place of tradtions is not afraid to embrace diversity).

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categories of place

  • insider/ outsider
  • near/ far
  • experienced/ media
  • private/ public

insider perspective: insiders develop a sense of place through everyday experiences in familar settings, daily rhythms and scared experiences. intimate perspective, close involvement with place.

outsider perspective: more vague and abstracted, more about discovery, perosnal view of entering a place, a traveller, observer from beyond the place.

near/far: can be in reference to physical distance, or how close/far you feel to a place emotionally/ in appearance/ globalisation.

experienced/media: somewhere you've experienced/ somewhere only seen via photos, tv, films, articles etc.

private/public:places are rarely one or the other, increasing amount of privately owned public spaces.

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places are dynamic

it's meaning and reality are always changing. places can be changed by economic, demographic, cultural, political and environmental forces.

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physical and human forces shaping places (exogenou

endogenous factors:

  • location (urban/rural, proximity to other settlements, main roads and physical features)
  • physical geography (relief, altitude, rock and soil type)
  • built environment (land use, age and type of housing, building density)
  • demographic factors (population size and structure, ethnic composition)
  • socio-economic characteristics (nature of industry, income levels, health, crime rates, employment opportunties, amenities)
  • cultural factors (heritage, religion, language)
  • political factors (role and strength of local councils, residents groups etc)

exogenous factors

  • flows of people eg. tourists, refugees, migrant workers
  • flows of resources eg. agricultural commodities (rice, coffee beans)
  • flows of investment eg. foreign direct investment (TNC's such as Apple establishing buisness operations in China) Aid (disaster relief in Haiti)
  • flows of ideas eg. political (democracy, communism) technology 
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globalisation: a major exogenous force

globalisation is the increasing interconnectedness of people and places; or increasing global flows of people, resources, capital and ideas.

history of globalisation:

  • empires e.g roman
  • slave trades e.g from africa to the americas
  • explorations e.g christopher columbus
  • trading companies e.g dutch east india trading company
  • incipient globalisation
  • full scale globalisation

dimensions of globalisation:

  • economic
  • demographic
  • political
  • cultural
  • environmental
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globalised places

glocalisation: cultures and local places are resisting globalisation, and multinational companies are also increasingly having to adapt to the the local market place.

'global sense of place'

Doreen Massey's description of Kilburn High Road: describes an ordinary place in London, but has multiple identities, as Kilburn High Road sells things from other cultures, says we need a global sense of the local, a global sense of place.

negative implication of global sense of place

placelessness- like clone towns, settlements where the high stret is dominated by the chain stores. James Kunstler says 'ever place is no place in particular', the urban sprawl have lead to community- less cities. Places have been homogenised, or identical to many other places in the UK.

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example: STARBUCKS

Starbucks: a global force transforming UK Places

In 1971 Starbuck's was founded in Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington, US.

mission statement: 'to inspire and nurture the human spirit- one person,one cup and one neighbourhood at a time'

Global extent:

  • 21,366 stores worldwide
  • Sources it's coffee from Latin America, Africa and Asia- Pacific
  • first overseas store was established in Tokyo 1996


tailor teir products and stores to local places by taking account of the local customers needs and wants, which is the concept of 'localisation'

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STARBUCKS: responses to globalisation

Place has become both a symbol and a site for people resisting the forces of global capitalism.

Murcia, Spain want a Starbucks because to them it increases the quality of the area by having a popular chain store.

Montmatre didnt want a McDonald's because it destroyed the areas indivuality, chain stores make it feel placeless.

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localisation movements: Bristol or Totnes Pound

encourages people to shop locally and keep money in the local economy, so less money will leak out of the local area and get lost in global financial systems.

Slow Cities movement

includes Ludlow, UK and Matakana, New Zealand. A movement that responds to globalisation by rejecting chain stores; all restaurants and shops are owned locally.

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representation of place

how a place is portrayed or seen by society.

media: means of communication, including tv, film, photography, art, newspapers, books songs, etc. These reach or influence people widely.

  • textual sources. novels make you feel like you're there/ one interpretation isnt always realistic/ press+media exaggerate.
  • photographs. realistic representation/ can be photoshopped/ doesnt always give feel of what it's like to be there.
  • interviews. detailed insights about someones sense of place. sometimes dishonest because want to be seen in a favourable light.
  • tv and film. exaggerates stereotypes. shapes most peoples perspective of a place.
  • art. not always accurate, personal perspective gives a strong sense of place.
  • media. personal interpretation gives a strong sense of place. uncrealistic or exaggerated. some places are portrayed in different ways.
  • poetry. can be exaggerated for emotional effect, unrealistic.
  • graffiti
  • place and architecture
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quantitative data: data that can be wuantified and verified, and is amendable to statistical manipulation. (i.e numbers)

qualitative data: information which is non numerical and is used in relatively instructured and open-ended ways. descriptive information.

subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions.

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analysing a text

subtext: what was the author aware of but chose to leave out of their work? e.g economy or environment.

how does it compare to other available texts about the place? produced earlier or later? inspired by or reaction?

what impression does it give? positive or negative? choice of vocabulary, colour or angle.

provenance of the source: context, who created it and when- does it support or oppose the most dominant views of that time?

how does it relate to wider relevant geographies or processes in society e.g industrialisation.

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mental maps

mental maps tell us a lot about people's perceptions of places; about how they interpret the world around them.

why are they useful to geographers:

  • tells us about peoples perception of places or their 'geographical investigations' at multiple scales e.g gaps in knowledge.
  • can tell us about how positionality (age/race/gender) affects perception of places.
  • role of media in peoples perceptions of the world.
  • helps us understand how people use spaces e.g which places within a city people know and use.
  • can correlate with socio-economic data, e.g studies done in LA correlated the most-feared neigbourhoods.
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'single story'

Ted Talk on danger of a single story:

  • children are vulnerable to stories
  • what we initially always here/ see
  • a single opinions leads to a single story perception
  • single story is one perception of a person/ group of people repeated until that is what they become.

the hashtag 'The Africa the media never shows you' is a social media response to this 'single story'

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LAKE DISTRICT representations

history of Lake District representations:

documentary 'Picture of Britain: the North'

  • Pioneering artists explored more beautiful landscapes of the 'Romantic North' 300 years ago, changing peoples appreciation of wild places.
  • the artists were based in the 'Romantic North'
  • Defoe describes the Lakes in 1720's as avoided. 'wildest most terrible place in england.' hostile and haunted'. because of thr windy roads, bogs and marshes.
  • Dr. John Brown revolutionised perceptions of the lankes in1752, by exploring the good parts, 'immense and awful'
  • Grand Tourists popularised the Lakes by visiting the best sites for painting. Thomas West wrote a book on where the best views were, encouraged more people to go. by 1720s people wanted to see the spots West wrote about.
  • Giplin's rules for picturesque painting: include distant mountain, trees, waterfalls and rocks must be rugged and red to contrast with the greenery, cows not horses, only three, only shaggy sheep.
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LAKE DISTRICT representations

Wordsworth's experience of nature in the Lakes shaped his representation in the poem 'Daffodils', said he was chased by a mountain, saw how small man was in comparison to nature, awe at nature inspired his work.

Samuel Taylor Colderidge's experience and representation was different as he feared nature because he found a drug that gave him nightmares, and caused him to fell paranoud and scared.

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other Lake District representations


  • Daniel Defoe's 'A tour through the whole island of great britain' 1727
  • Dr John Brown's description of the lake at Keswick 1767
  • William Wordsworth's poem Daffodils 1804
  • JMW Turner's painting Buttermere Lake, exhibited 1798.
  • Thomas Wests ' a guide to the Lakes: dedicated to the lovers of landscape studies' 1778


  • Ingrid Pollard's photographs
  • Lake districts geology factsheet
  • george monbiot's article on sheep-farming in the Lakes
  • Cumbria adventure tourism capital project
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