This project investigates the role played by sense of place and place values in shaping narratives of change and transformation towards sustainability. Values connected to sense of place will be used as an analytical framework, and central attention will be paid to cultural and social dimensions of sustainability, reversing the more traditional approaches that focus mainly on the environmental dimension.
Research will be carried out in Finland, with a case study approach focusing on a place undergoing planning processes and related transformation. The methodology will be mostly qualitative, and comprise different steps: first, an exploration of existing place meanings and values through in-depth interviews will inform subsequent steps and result in an attempt of spatial representation through ‘deep mapping’. To follow, a series of focus-group based workshops will be held, applying the principles of Appreciative Inquiry in order to discover held values of place and envisioning of possible futures.
Key words: place-shaping, sense of place, values, sustainability transformation