Place attachment, disruption and transformative adaptation

Darren Clarke (Lead Author), Conor Murphy, Irene Lorenzoni

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103 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper explores place disruption, where transformative adaptation was proposed for flood risk management, by examining: a) the relationships between place attachment, place-related symbolic meanings, place-protective interpretative responses and attitudinal responses, and b) evaluation of governance processes. Questionnaires were administered to residents in Clontarf, County Dublin, Ireland in 2014 (n = 280) in the aftermath of community resistance to perceived transformative flood defences. Results highlight the dilemmas for individuals who recognise adaptation as necessary but who ascribe significant importance to valued places. Contrary to previous studies, our analysis shows place attachment to be strongest in individuals who perceive governance processes as inadequate, and finds that neither flood experience nor flood risk affect strength of place attachment and support for flood defences. We suggest that where transformative adaptation disrupts place and threatens place attachment, considering the views of both those affected and unaffected by hazardous events is paramount.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81–89
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Early online date29 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Place attachment
  • Place disruption
  • Transformation
  • Adaptation
  • Flood risk
  • Governance

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