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Year 9 Geography: Interconnections: How do we connect with places?

Geographies of interconnections focuses on investigating how people, through their choices and actions, are connected to places throughout the world in a wide variety of ways, and how these connections help to make and change places and their environments

Quick links and resources

Sense of place

Often it's the things we do, see, use and consume that contributes to perception of place and peoples percepetion of place, helps to create a sense of place. Having a sense of place is what enables people to connect to places.

The following article defines a sense of place.  Click on the image to connect to the website and view the full article.

Taken from Importanceofplace.com. (2009). IMPORTANCE OF PLACE: What Is Sense of Place?. [online] Available at: http://www.importanceofplace.com/2009/04/what-is-sense-of-place.html [Accessed 15 Jun. 2016].

Implications for the future

Perceptions of places

What do we mean when we talk about perceptions of places?

Perception is the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses.  It can also mean the way in which something is regarded, understood or interpreted.  

So when we think about perception in the context of place, it is about people's awareness of places, their particular opinions they have formed and how connected they feel to places.

Take a look at the below Perception of Place video of students looking at photo's of places around the world.  Observe the students opinions and the way they describe the places and reasons why they have formed these opinions. How do the students appear to feel in relation to the places they are seeing? Do you think they may feel differently if they were actually located at the sight of the picture?

Travel, transport and tourism

Transportation, Travel and Tourism is extremely important in connecting people to places.  We see and experience things differently, especially when we visit or travel to a new or familiar location and when we are at a location or place our perception is based on what we see, how we feel, how the place makes us feel and what we experience whilst there.  Peoples primary considerations when traveling to and from locations are mode of transport and timeframe of which both influences our perception of place and can strengthen or even weaken the creation of sense of place. 

The following statement is an extract from the website the Institute of Engineers Australia that talks about the importance of Transport in Moving Toward Sustainability and outlines how transport is vital to interconnection.  Click on the Institute of Engineers Australia link above to read the full article.

Transport demonstrates the vital interconnection of economic development, ecological conservation and attainment of an acceptable quality of life in achieving sustainability. Economic development depends upon movement of freight and access of people to services and goods. Ecological conservation is dependent upon the management of transport in a manner that makes wise use of land and resources and maintains the integrity of local and global ecosystems. An acceptable quality of life involves transport which provides equitable access to services, goods, places, other people, protects health and safety, and meets the needs of people to come together in communities.

Taken from  Engineers Australia. (2016). Transport : The importance of transport in moving towards sustainabilility. [online] available at https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/sites/default/files/shado/Representation/Policy%20Positions/Sustainability/Transport.pdf [ Accessed 2016. Web. 21 June 2016].

Click on the image below and link to the website Project for Public Spaces to read an article about how Transportation can create a Sense of Community.

Click on the image below to read about the 4 Models of Transport Development and to gain understanding on the concept of how transport systems are designed to connect people to places.

How is perception of place developed?

For individuals or even groups, perceptions of places can be determined by many differing factors including purpose or use of places and spaces, particularly at different times of day, between males and females, different age groups, people with and without disability, and people from diverse cultures including Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

The following list highlights some other influences and characteristics that contribute to how people may develop a perception of place:

  • Personal or group characteristics such as race, gender, age and religious beliefs (including other people's opinions)
  • Purpose/use of place and space
  • Travel and transportation
  • Familiarity including past memories and or present experiences
  • Accuracy of knowledge, names and locations
  • Signs/symbols and Language
  • Mobility and access
  • Safety

It is important to remember that if any of the factors change so to can our perception of a place.

Click on the following image to read an article from the City Lab website about how memory alters the perception of place.

Taken from Badger, Emily. "How Memory Alters Our Perception Of Place". CityLab. N.p., 2013. Web. 14 June 2016.

Information Technology

Technology also plays a vital role in connecting people with places.  Take a look at the below dot points extracted from the website blog called Spatialworlds that explain some of the ways that technology connects people with places.

  • Planet connection through technology.”
  •  “Technology enables us to connect anywhere, anytime ... This connection is changing the way the world works.” In short the video is highlighting the fact that technology is making space diminish through the power of technology leading to increased global interconnection.
  •  “There are more people on Facebook today than there were on the planet 200 years ago.”
  • “Humanities greatest desire is to belong and connect.”
  • “Today the people of the world can see each other and can protect each other.”
  • “The power of media to mobilise the world to act.”
  • “To change the conversation of a culture.”
  • “We are living in a new world, a Facebook world where 750 million people share ideas, not thinking in borders, it’s a global community.”

Taken from McInerney, Malcolm. "Spatialworlds: Interacting With The Interconnection Concept". Spatialworlds.blogspot.com.au. N.p., 2012. Web. 21 June 2016.

Leisure choices

The concept of interconnection, highlights that our lifestyle choices affect and impact not only other people, but the environment and every living thing on the earth itself.