6 Conclusion

We have aimed to give an overview why place and place meanings should be researched interdisciplinary. We attempted to bind together place making and place attachment studies and show their very interlacing manner. Various dimensions of place meanings, as the main key to simplify understanding, were introduced. We divided place meanings into four interlacing categories – supranational, national, local and individual. We gave some examples of each category but our list of how meanings are influenced is by no means final. Rather, these categories were used to show how meaning construction actually spreads over the differing dimensions and extends over the individual and collective scale where it is often analyzed. There still exists the need for interdisciplinary research methods as our analysis denotes that individual interviews do not reflect wider identities. We suggest that the phenomenological and the structural approach should learn from each other.

We also suggest that attachment studies should involve place meanings into their research as they are strongly related. Place attachment cannot be studied only on the basis of, for instance, physical attributes of the area or people’s perceptions. On the other hand, attachment also influences meanings given to places, so both environmental psychologists and humanistic geographers have a lot to learn from each other.

We also find that policy researchers should deal more with places and conflicting meanings. As indicated in Section 4, ‘Place attachment and exclusion’, often meanings that are attached to places by different groups can be a root to a community conflict. The importance of places in policy should be more noted. Also historical researchers are starting to deal more with places which are very important for understanding the various dimensions of places as places often carry historical significances with them.

Finally, we find studying place meanings highly beneficial for understanding the ongoing changes in our environment. Place meanings should be definitely involved in conservation strategies. Place meanings also act as a beneficial manipulation strategy.

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