Introduction often introduce a scheme, alter infrastructure

IntroductionMy study focuses on acoastal town, Cromer, and two market towns, Holt and Stalham, on the north coast of the English county of Norfolk. North Norfolk consistssolely of A-roads with no primary motorway and is approximately 23 miles northof Norfolk’s major city Norwich.                          The identity of aplace is multifaceted and so I have two further research questions to direct attentiontowards:1.      Whatare the endogenous and/or exogenous factors influencing North Norfolk’s identity?2.      Howhave different forms and sources of representation impacted North Norfolk’sidentity?  When trying to considerthe identity of a place, we must understand that a place is a geographical andmappable location with meanings attached to it. These may be positive, such asthe feeling of topophilia which can be “broadly defined to include all of thehuman beings’ affective ties with the material environment” (Tuan, 1974), ornegative. This layered nature of place is how places should be understood.

Thereare several agents of change that help to mould a places identity. For example,governmental bodies, residents and institutions all play a role in developing aplaces infrastructure, demographics and environmental quality predominantly throughaltering legislation. A common method of changing the representation of a placeis though rebranding. Local and national governing bodies may often introduce ascheme, alter infrastructure or add further facilities to promote a certaintype of behaviour and attract a different demographic of people. As a result, aplaces identity is changed, whether intentional or not.

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A simple example might bethat a local council adds more museums and focuses on advertising to attract moretourists so that place becomes known as a tourist town. Additionally, the environmentalquality and surrounding building quality can determine how a place is represented,when observed by people living and visiting that place.   A place can also providea constituent part of the personal identity of others, who are regarded asinsiders and outsiders, relative to that place. An insider develops their senseof identity though lived and shared experiences in a familiar place such as dailygrocery shopping and the school run. This subjective enables an understandingof the community’s sense of place. An outsider develops their sense of place eitherthrough new experiences and discovery, or from the representations of a place thatare far reaching.

By recognising the differences between near and far places orexperienced and media places, a more wholesome picture of a place’s identitycan be unveiled. However, the feeling of being an insider or an outsider is quiteintricate, in that one can, for example, live in a town for many years yetstill be an outsider if they do not fully understand the unwritten rules ofthat place that may guide social interactions and how the town runs.  Finally, all placecan only be understood once you recognise that they are intrinsically dynamic.They are “a geographical nexus of connections and linkages including flows ofpeople, ideas, information, wealth and things, which come together in anddefine a geographical location or locality” (Richard, n.a.). These flows are affectedby a place’s proximity to another place and the infrastructure that allow theflows to occur.

The more open the channels are, the greater impact two placeswill have on each other which will help determine the cultural, socioeconomicand demographic characteristics of the place’s, “beyond the original endogenousfactors that created it in the first place” (Redfern, 2016). 


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