Time and Meaning

Place identity, as a process for identifying historical and cultural meaning within a townscape, is increasingly recognized within Urban and Architectural Design as another aspect of drawing upon and developing the richness of the urban fabric. In “Identity by Design”, Bentley and Watson refer to the works of Aldo Rossi, who suggested that the Urban Designer act in part as an archeologist viewing the urban form as an artifact. They identify underlying historical patterns within the urban skeleton and the themes of the built form running through the fabric of the townscape, much like the tissue lying over the skeleton. By doing so, it is hoped that future development acknowledges the underlying context to create a sense of continuity of built form. Place identity goes further however by seeking also to identify the cultural meaning of the urban form. Recognising sets of meanings and how these are drawn on by members or groups of society as a way of forming their own perception of their roots, heritage, personal and social identity.