Rethinking the power of place in the age of virtual social media

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. candidate of Urban Planning, Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran

2 Professor of Urban Design and Planning, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.


In the past years, the use of cyberspace has increased day by day to the point that today, people create personality, gain experience and create memories in these spaces. This has created an emerging phenomenon of virtual space. This should be accepted that nowadays, cyberspace has become a virtual reality. A reality which has created cyberspace accessible as a new experience and opportunity. By using documentary and library methods and with an analytical look, this article seeks to describe the power of place in the form of a sense of place in the virtual age by examining different theoretical perspectives on space and cyberspace. The present article, while does not consider the advent of the digital age and the increasing expansion of cyberspace users as a threat to the sense of place,  by using the content analysis method, analyzes the effect of cyberspace on identity and sense of place and provides a codified framework for the power of place in the virtual age. The results show that in the present age, virtual media has a direct effect on the sense of place. And despite the similarities between the components of sense of place in real places and virtual spaces, there are also differences; including indirect but powerful interactions and experiences, removal of temporal / spatial constraints, immersion instead of physical presence, and free and limitless communication in virtual media.


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