Sense of place is an impression of setting that emerges through one’s experiences within. Tied to phenomenology, the concept that knowledge is transferred through direct experience, place is considered important in community settings as it helps individuals come to know the cultural landscape; it’s place-identity, more fully. Community pathway systems provide a beneficial platform for activity in community settings , providing access to the environment and the intrinsic cultural symbols within, that support place-identity knowledge.
As urban centers continue to grow demographically and spatially, the maintenance of traditional place-identity is an increasingly important area of study. By identifying and drawing on the cultural themes and narratives that a community values most, and integrating these into a place-centric experience, knowledge of traditional character and heritage can be impressed and thus supported for the future.
This thesis explores and outlines a place-making design methodology that, in application, will enhance the experience in community pathway systems. The objective of this study is to establish a design model that will affect sense of place and leverage its phenomenological potential to transfer the knowledge upon which community place-identity is based. In addition to supporting and heightening the place-experience(s) within these settings, this model will result in a unique pathway environment which can bolster a community’s image, both for resident and visitor alike.