Throughout their lives, people's identities are renegotiated and revealed through place-based experiences that give them confidence and stability. These experiences strengthen their place attachments and often result in desires for stewardship and long-term resilience. When stories of place attachment are shared, they give rise to a collective identity and awareness that move them to act as a community to achieve sustainable, resilient, and democratic change.
This chapter reflects on the nature, quality, and intensity of the transformation generated by participatory urban redevelopment processes deliberately engaging place attachment questions as windows into the community's deeply-held feelings about the future. It uses case studies of Giske, Norway, and Zingonia, Italy to teach us valuable lessons about the consequences of place attachments on people's ability to achieve sustainable change.
The stories of these communities suggest that tackling wicked problems requires both long-term investments in participatory processes, and the continued commitment to place, tenacious stewardship, and impactful action that the collective sharing of residents' stories of place attachment and identity can inspire.