Urban landscapes and the atmosphere of place

Phil Jones, Arshad Isakjee, Colin Lorne, Chris Jam, Saskia Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)


Urban landscapes are produced through the combination of material forms and subjective human experience. Drawing on the concept of atmosphere, we argue that human experience of urban spaces drives alterations to the built environment, making it critical that these are studied in tandem. Atmospheres are created through the combination of human activity, individual emotional responses and subjective perceptions of built forms. These atmospheres, though unique to the individual, can also create a shared feeling of place. Drawing on ethnographic methods to examine the lived experience of the Balsall Heath district in Birmingham, UK, a series of examples is used to illustrate how the intersection of subjective experience and built forms creates different atmospheres within the neighbourhood. These atmospheres, and the desire to alter them, are in turn driving morphological change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
JournalUrban Morphology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Urban landscape
  • Birmingham UK
  • ethnography
  • ambiance
  • atmosphere


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