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Collective Memory in Architecture: A Tool to Achieve Social Sustainability in Urban Re-Developments, with Special Reference to Slave Island

Part 2 Dissertation 2023
Hamla Sama Samad
City School of Architecture | Sri Lanka
Cities go under regular physical transition to suit its needs. Urban settlements become part of this evolution. The inhabitants and the users have lived and shaped the places they revolve around, which results in a great sense of place and belonging towards the place. Which in turn, becomes a part of their collective memory. When redevelopments take place in such places, the sudden and strange intervention effect their long term activities and behaviors and might turn the place into uninhabited and invaded spaces without memory and meaning.

This research focuses on the reasons for negative impacts on the city’s inhabitants’ social identities during urban redevelopments. Therefore, how people shape their living and create meaning to a space with their past experiences is analyzed using the case study. For this, methods such as interviews and sketch maps to understand the collective memories of the study group have been adopted.

Collective memory’s intangible character makes it easier to be appreciated during its absence. For example, the loss of engagement and emptiness in the spaces and rate of abandonment after a regeneration signifies the loss in sense of place that makes people feel alienated from their lived spaces.

Thus, this research is generally based on how people respond to their lived spaces and how these in turn influence to construct an ideology to mitigate the negative impacts of urban developments in urban resettlements in terms of architecture and urban planning.

Hamla Sama Samad

Tutor(s)
Sayurika Thilakawardena
Chiranthi Warusawitharana
2023
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