What is really a place and what importance does it have for humans? A place can be anything from the city as a whole, to the unplanned gap, i.e. the unplanned, disorderly surfaces. Each place has its quality and is perceived differently depending on who occupies the place. All places have a cultural form of what and who is located on that place – what is beautiful, what is ugly, what is boring, what is possible, what is impossible…? Most people can not express affection before they experience the place as it is, since it is a physical and mental experience.
A place is primarily related to stored experience – collectively, it is really what tradition is all about. Each place has its traditions, its history, its identity and its inhabitants. A place without a story, is fictional, a place that has stayed in the story is retrospective. An authentic place is both. What people feel should be anchored both backwards and forwards, i.e. the time factor should be seen as a process and as an experience of development rather than one of innovation, something ‘new’. We not only live ‘at a time’ but as part of a time process. Each location must take their history, their identity, in possession and not become a non-place – which are planned and steeped in the same shape, smooth, stiffened up, where people who live there become alone and alike, just as everyone else.
In order to get people to care about places, it is about creating meaning, both in the ambient environment and in the functional enviroment. People want to live and inhabit, not just the latter. Even the seemingly simplest, most everyday places in people’s lives are rich in values that give life meaning.