Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30685
A Hidden Dimension in Site Planning: Exploring Affective Experience as Part of Sense of Place on the Farm Kromdraai, Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, South Africa

Authors: K. Puren, H. Coetzee, V. Roos


Uniqueness and distinctiveness of localities (referred to as genius loci or sense of place) are important to ensure people-s identification with their locality. Existing frameworks reveals that the affective dimension of environments is rarely mentioned or explored and limited public participation was used in constructing the frameworks. This research argues that the complexity of sense of place would be recognised and appropriate planning guidelines formulated by exploring and integrating the affective dimension of a site. Aims of the research therefore are to (i) explore relational dimensions between people and a natural rural landscape, (ii) to implement a participatory approach to obtain insight into different relational dimensions, and (ii) to concretise socio-affective relational dimensions into site planning guidelines. A qualitative, interdisciplinary research approach was followed and conducted on the farm Kromdraai, Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site. In essence the first phase of the study reveals various affective responses and projections of personal meanings. The findings in phase 1 informed the second phase, to involve people from various disciplines and different involvement with the area to make visual presentations of appropriate planning and design of the site in order to capture meanings of the interactions between people and their environment. Final site planning and design guidelines were formulated, based on these. This research contributed to provide planners with new possibilities of exploring the dimensions between people and places as well as to develop appropriate methods for participation to obtain insight into the underlying meanings of sites.

Keywords: Sense of place, affective dimension, Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, spatialplanning

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1073


[1] Pampalon, R., Hamel, D., De Koninck, M. and Disant, M. (2007). Perception of Place and Health: Differences between Neighbourhoods in the Quebec City Region, Social Science and Medicine, (65), 95-111.
[2] Castells, M. (2010). The power of identity: The information Age: Economy, Society and culture. Wiley-Blackwell.
[3] Relph, E. (1976). Place and Placelessness. Pion, London.
[4] Norberg-Schulz, C. (1980). Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. Academy Editions, London.
[5] Carmona, M., Heath, T., Oc, T. and Tiesdell, S. (2003). Public places Urban Spaces: The Dimensions of Urban Design. Architectural Press, Oxford.
[6] Brinckerhoff, J.J. (1994). A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time. New Haven: Yale University Press.
[7] Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the city. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press
[8] Cullen, G. (1964). The Concise Townscape. UK: Oxford Architectural Press.
[9] Steele, F. (1981). The Sense of Place. Boston, MA: CBI Publishing.
[10] Punter, J. (1991). Participation in the Design of Urban Space. Landscape Design, 200, 24-7.
[11] Montgomery, J., 1998: Making a City: Urbanity, Vitality and Urban Design, Journal of Urban Design, 3, 93-116.
[12] Massey, D. (1994). Space, place and gender. Cambridge : Polity.
[13] Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design : choosing among five approaches, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks : Sage Publications.
[14] Babbie, E. & Mouton, J. (2001). The practice of social research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[15] Leedy, P.D. & Ormrod, J.E. (2001). Practical research: planning and design, 7th ed. New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall.
[16] UNESCO, (2007). World Heritage: Vredefort Dome. Accessed 5 February 2007).
[17] Fleminger, D. (2008). Vredefort Dome: World heritage site of South Africa. Johannesburg: 30┬░ South Publishers.
[18] Official website of the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP), (2005). United From: http://www.unep (Retrieved November 30, 2008)
[19] Strategic Environmental Assessment (2006)
[20] Locker, Y. (1994). Business Skills. Houndmills, England : Macmillan.
[21] Nissani, M. (1995). Fruits, salads, and smoothies: A working definition of interdisciplinary, Journal of Educational Thought, 29(2), 121-128.
[22] Saunders, C.D. (2003). The emerging field of conservation psychology, Human Ecology Review, 10(2), 137-149.
[23] Bott, S., Cantrill, J.G. and Myers, O.E. (2003). Place and the promise of conservation psychology. Human Ecology Review, 10, 100-112.
[24] Rose, G. (2001). Visual methodologies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[25] Catterall, M. & Ibbotson, P. (2000). Using projective techniques in education research. British Educational Research Journal, 26(2), 245-256.
[26] Keller, C., Fleury, J., Perez, A., Ainsworth, B. & Vaughan, L. (2009). Using visual methods to uncover context. Advancing Qualitative Methods, (18), 428-435.
[27] Morgan, D.L. (1997). Focus groups as qualitative research: Qualitative research methods Series 16. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[28] Clark-Ibanez, M. (2007). In Stanczak GC (Ed.). Visual research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[29] Stanczak, G.C. (2007). Visual research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[30] Weber, S. (2003). About Image Based Research. (Accessed 20 November 2007).
[31] Burns, N. and Grove, S.K. (2001). The Practice Of Nursing Research. Conduct, Critique & Utilization, Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.
[32] Gay, L.R., Mills, G.E. and Airasian, P. (2006). Educational Research. Pearson/Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
[33] Lincoln, Y.S. (1995). Emerging criteria for quality in qualitative and interpretive research. Qualitative Inquiry, 1(3), 275-289.
[34] Lincoln, Y., & Guba, E. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
[35] Krefting, L. (1991). Rigor in qualitative research: The assessment of trustworthiness. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45(3), 1-19.
[36] Tuckett, A.G. (2005). Rigour in qualitative research: Complexities and solutions. Researcher, 13(1), 29-42.
[37] Boyden, S., S. Millar, K. Newcombe, and B. O'Neill. (1981). The Ecology of a City and Its People: The Case of Hong Kong. Canberra, Australia: Autralian National University Press.
[38] Relph, E. (1997). Sense of place. In Hanson, S (Ed.). Ten geographic ideas that changed the world, p.205-226. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
[39] De Young, R. (2000). Expanding and evaluating motives for environmentally responsive behaviour. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 509-526.
[40] Kellert, S.R. & Wilson, E.O. (1993). The Biophilia Hypothesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.
[41] Beringer, A. (2000). In search of the sacred: a conceptual analysis of spirituality. Journal of Experimental Education, 23(3), 157-165.
[42] Davis, J. (2004). Psychological benefits of nature experiences: An outline of research and theory. (Retrieved from
[43] Kaplan, S. (1987). Aesthetics, affect and cognition. Environment and Behaviour, 19(1), 3-32.
[44] Kaplan, R. & Kaplan, S. (1989). The experience of nature: A psychological perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.
[45] Ulrich, R.S. (1993). Biophilia, biophobia and natural landscapes. In Kellert SA, Wilson EO (Eds.). The biophilia hypothesis. Washington, DC: Island Press/Shearwater, pp. 74 -137.
[46] Ittelson, W.H. (1973). Environmental perception and contemporary perceptual theory. In W.H. Ittelson (Ed.), Environmental and cognition (pp. 1-19). New York: Academic Press.
[47] Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Towards an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182.
[48] Gifford, D. (1995). Natural psychology: An introduction. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 167-168.
[49] Hartig, T., Mang, M. & Evans, G.W. (1991). Restorative effects of environment experiences. Environment and Behaviour, 23910, 3-26.
[50] Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
[51] Anderson,E.N., 1996: Ecologies of the heart: Emotions, beliefs and the environment. NY: Oxford University Press.
[52] Kals, E., Schumacher, D. & Montada, L. (1999). Emotional affinity towards nature as a motivational basis to protect nature. Environment and Behavior, 31(2), 178-202.
[53] Sumner, P. (2003). On the geomorphic evidence for a Late Quarternary periglaciation of the main escarpment region of eastern southern Africa. Thesis (Ph.D.)(Geography) University of Pretoria.
[54] Carayol, N. and Nguyen Thi, T. U. Why do Academic Scientists Engage in Interdisciplinary Research?, (download 07-06- 2005), 2004.
[55] Hague, C. And Jenkins, P (eds), (2005). Place Identity, Participation and Planning. Routledge, Oxfordshire.
[56] Bechtel, R.B. & Churchman, A. (2002). Handbook of environmental psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.