18 May 2015


Notes from this nuggety RadioWest podcast with social geographer Alastair Bonnett.

  • We seem to need to create places. When asked who we are, place is central. We imagine our personal narratives through space. "We are a placemaking species."
  • Topophiliacs = people who love place
  • Modernity treats place as confining, parochial, and merely local. Right now we're still stuck in that idea of forgetting about place and trying to imagine that we can live without it. We expect to be able to easily uproot and discard place.
  • We should stop "building places that don't speak to us, that don't seem to be rooted. We should be a bit careful about creating around mobility, shuffling around between non-space and non-space."
  • Blandscapes (shopping malls, shopping centers etc) are so pervasive because they appear to fully meet human needs: everything is under one climate controlled roof
  • Place isn't just about creating community. An example of this is "dark love" for extreme places: people who explore tunnels underneath the city, or are drawn to harsh and isolated landscapes.
  • Sometimes virtual places don't feel as authentic because they are manufactured. Perhaps this is the reason that the mall also feels less authentic than a shopping district with many small shops, street vendors, pedestrians, cyclists, public fountains, etc. which has probably grown organically. 

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