Determinants of Place Attachment: Comparative Study of Horizontal and Vertical Middle-Income Residential Environments in Sri Lanka

1Thavaraja Kamalraj, Susantha Amarawickrama, Nayomi Kankanamge, Lakshika Meetiyagoda


The main objective of this research is to examine the determinants of place attachment of horizontal and vertical residential environments (specifically at neighbourhood level). Place attachment determinants and its scale were formulated by reviewing literature: 16 variables (social and physical determinants) were identified. Structured questionnaire survey was conducted to collect data from 200 residents of each residential environment in fast growing Colombo Metropolitan Region in Sri Lanka. The gathered data were subjected to statistical analysis in Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS). According to the results, the level of place attachment of horizontal residential neighbourhood is higher than the vertical residential neighbourhood, while respondents of both neighbourhoods indicated more than average level of attachment. Regression analysis shows that, in both neighbourhoods, both physical determinants and social determinants appear as significant determinants to explain the changes in place attachment. Moreover, residents of vertical residential area feel more attached to the place due to physical determinants, whereas, the residents of the horizontal residential area feel more attached to the place due to the social determinants. The comparison of two types of neighbourhoods might provide additional insights into place attachment. The result of this study can be useful for planners, architects and policy makers when planning the different types of residential environments.


Place attachment, determinants, residential neighbourhoods

Paper Details
IssueIssue 4