Sense of place and the city: the case of non-native residents in Lisbon


  • Vicente Tang Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Albert Acedo Universitat Jaume I, Universidade de Lisboa
  • Marco Painho Universidade Nova de Lisboa



place, sense of place, map-based survey, urban context, non-native residents


When immigrants move to a new city, they tend to develop distinct relationships with the urban landscape, which in turn becomes the new setting of their routine-based activities that evolve over time. Previous works in environmental psychology have quantitatively examined non-native residents' development of sense of place towards their new environment. In this paper, we introduce the spatial perspective into studying the sense of place experienced by non-natives in an urban context. We study the person-place bonds, relationships, and feelings cultivated by non-native residents living in the city of Lisbon (Portugal) through an online map-based survey. Then, we carried out spatial analysis aimed at distinguishing and visualizing the different facets of sense of place developed by two participant groups: short-term residents and long-term residents. Results showed that while short-term residents reported bonds with places, long-term residents' senses of place were more intense and broader throughout the city. The correlations, associations, and relationships between participant groups and the dimensions of sense of place allowed us to observe features and patterns that were previously described in the literature, although adding the spatial lenses can potentially provide better insights for urban planning, community development, and inclusive policies.

Author Biographies

Vicente Tang, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

NOVA Information Management School

Albert Acedo, Universitat Jaume I, Universidade de Lisboa

GEOTEC, Institute of New Imaging Technologies

ITI/LARSyS, Instituto Superior Técnico

Marco Painho, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

NOVA Information Management School




2021-12-24 — Updated on 2022-01-05