Relocation and place attachment: House design as an enabler of belonging

Sandra Costa Santos, Kyung Wook Seo

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Place attachment can be described as an emotional bond between people and places , usually residential, implying securing feelings in the object of attachment, sense of belonging, desire of proximity, and wish to come back when away . Moreover, the disruption of place attachment through forced relocation (such as in a context of conflict or natural disaster) can have severe health and psychological effects . Potentially complicated in any context, the need to provide housing becomes very difficult when limited land for a growing number of population forces to relocate from the rural to the urban environment, and it may involve breaking with long stablished socio-cultural traditions and structures. The aims of this paper are therefore threefold: first, to critically review previous evidence that relates place attachment and unconscious place-specific daily routines, presenting time-space routines as a key element in the development of a sense of belonging; second, to illustrate spatial sequence in Malaysian domestic space as an enabler of belonging for those dwellers that relocate from traditional housing to modern apartments. And third, with the results of the aforementioned study, to provide further evidence of the social dimension of place attachment as played out in a residential context. In doing so, this article expands on current literature supporting the need for a perspective on place attachment that reflects its socially constructed nature.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2016
EventHOUSED by CHOICE HOUSED by FORCE - Homes, Conflicts and Conflicting Interests - University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
Duration: 21 Jan 201622 Jan 2016


ConferenceHOUSED by CHOICE HOUSED by FORCE - Homes, Conflicts and Conflicting Interests
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