CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractMost of the activities and land use in a city represent a part of the human spatial experience. Over time, this connection between people and land use turns into a sentimental phenomenon called “longing for place,” or nostalgia. This phenomenon and its types (restorative and reflective) represent psychological, social, communicative, and spatial dimensions. This paper addresses the following problem: There is a decrease in city open public spaces that have positive memories and are dedicated to social activities in high-density population areas. The paper assumes: There is a possibility to employ nostalgia as an indicator to reuse the obsolete spaces. The main objective of this study is to find out the main activities that were preferred by elderly users of obsolete public open spaces and how these memories had mental images that affected their lives. It is an attempt to explain the relationship between nostalgia and a space’s performance, and to determine the impact of the older users who have positive memories to reuse their obsolete open spaces. This paper depended on descriptive and empirical approaches. Its conclusions are: Nostalgia mostly seeks to glorify and recall the positive spatial memory of the past. Its quality increases and decreases according to the level of the impression and performance that is stored in the users’ minds and beings. Naturally, the space’s performance has generated memories and mental images. Thus, whenever there was a longtime positive performance of a space, the nostalgia and its mental images were stronger. The spatial memories stay in the minds even if the space has passed from its original use and its life cycle of performance is finished. Therefore, nostalgia can employ restoratively or reflectively, or together as a mechanism to reuse the obsolete open public space.Practical ApplicationsThe paper focuses on employing nostalgia as a mechanism to remake a place by enabling decision-makers (planners and designers) to involve the community in designing reuse of the obsolete place or public space. This mechanism encourages democratic planning and design. The practical steps of this mechanism include asking the older users of space about: (1) Their real spatial activities and experiences and fixing their mental images on the drawn general plan (map of old space). (2) Their judgment on the quality of the obsolete space’s performance, through a questionnaire form. (3) Knowing their desire to reuse the obsolete space with the same use, a new use, or a new and old use combined. The responses, which are calculated on the sketches of the obsolete space, and the respondents’ answers in the questionnaire are determined to assess the strength of the space’s characteristics, users’ judgment on the quality of performance, and the strength of their desires to change the use. The results of this mechanism will involve three options: keep the old use (restorative), when positive and real memory was stronger; change it to a new (reflective) when negative memory was stronger; or combine the old and the new within a hybrid type.



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