Urban memory and planning: investigating the use of oral history

Unlu T.

EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, vol.27, no.4, pp.802-817, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09654313.2019.1567696
  • Page Numbers: pp.802-817


Investigation of the reciprocal relation between individuals and space within its cultural and historical evolution allow us to conceive the intrinsic qualities and dynamics of any space in its context and to develop new conceptions to explain what kind of a place it is. Oral history provides opportunities to listen to the voice of space as well as a new way to discover its unique and different characteristics that give the users the feeling of belonging and place attachment. In this study, the place of oral history method in historiography, its use in diverse disciplines related to the shaping of urban space, such as urban planning and architecture, and the possible contribution of oral history to planning and designing urban space are discussed. It is revealed that the use of oral history in research and practice can give effect to develop a sense of belonging for all users and to achieve sustainability of urban memory. For this reason, place-based studies and utilization of oral history method within them are of significant importance, for either acquiring the knowledge embedded in memories or understanding the expectations of users or to provide solutions to place-based problems.