Student information

Msc thesis topic: Perception of Places in an Urban context

The goal is to get insight in de development and dynamics of places amongst different groups of people as well as the effects of (mass) tourism and/or crowdedness on the notion of place. The student has to develop a framework to analyse the spatial-temporal composition and characteristics of place in a city. The city of Amsterdam will be taken as a case-study. For that the concept of place need to be operationalised such that it can be analysed using available spatial data; additional fieldwork might be needed. Agent Based Modelling might be amongst the suitable modelling techniques.

Place is a neo-geographical notion that indicates the bonding of people with a certain location. In other words, it defines the attachment of people with their environment. The sense of place is constructed from interpretations and perceptions the people have about their environment. This means it is derived from experiences of people with the physical landscape they move through of live in. Sense of place therefore develops from the composition of the physical environment and the social environment. (Stedman 2003). This implies that the notion of place is not a static construct but can change over time, be it suddenly, gradually or following a certain periodicity. To give an example: parks or squares have different notions of place during daytime or night. Also culture, expectations and backgrounds play and role in the perception of place. One might expect difference (amongst others) between locals and tourist and younger or older people.


  • To develop a model to analyse perception of place



  • Fluency in written English; Proficiency with GIS.

Theme(s): Human – space interaction