Space, Place and Environment: Introduction to the human environment
Space, Place and Environment represent three approaches to human geography developed in the last decades. Space represents an attempt at an objective quantitative approach, Place refers to the subjective relations between people and their homes, lands or neighborhoods, while Environment encompasses the social, cultural and physical structures within which people conduct their activities.
The discipline of human geography has always been intimately connected to urban, regional and environmental planning. As a consequence, the notions of space, place and environment are associated also with three major planning approaches: ‘Space’ with the view of planning as social engineering, ‘place’ with the phenomenological approach, while ‘environment’ with the structuralist and system approaches to planning.
Throughout most of the 20th century space, place and environment provided the foundations to modernism; in the last decades they became playing tools of post modernism. More recently, however, space, place and environment are perceived as spontaneous self-organized products that emerge out of the interaction between the many human agents.