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Experiences of place attachment and mental well-being in the context of neighbourhood regeneration : an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Lomas, MJ



P Brown

E Ayodeji


Regeneration of the built environment is an important focus of policy across the European Union (EU) and at any one time, there are numerous projects being delivered across Member States. Studies of neighbourhoods and communities highlight the significant role of the physical environment in life and how the inhabitants of existing communities cope with the changes to their socio-spatial environment should be considered. Despite its pervasiveness, however, minimal research has explored the underlying processes involved with residents’ interpretation of changes brought about through neighbourhood regeneration. The current research sought to address this through the adoption of the philosophical position of critical realism and the utilisation of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Qualitative interviews were conducted with nine residents of the Pendleton area of Salford, a city in the North West of England, which is currently undergoing a long-term, £650m regeneration project. The interview schedule was developed according to Smith et al.’s (2009) guide for good interview practice in studies utilising IPA. To facilitate the exploration of mental well-being, characteristics of change process research (CPR) were also drawn upon: a methodology commonly used to explain how psychotherapy leads to change in clients. The findings provided greater insight into residents’ experiences of neighbourhood regeneration. Explored are the underlying processes involved in residents’ renegotiation of place attachments, as the area in which they live undergoes transformation. Three super-ordinate themes were identified: feelings of control; social and community relations; as well as understandings and definitions of place. The findings demonstrate the potential for regeneration to lead to adverse consequences for sense of belonging and mental well-being, which highlights the necessity for continued, in-depth research into the phenomenon. Existing government guidance for the implementation of regeneration is reflected on in light of this fresh insight. The limitations of the project and further research avenues are also discussed.


Lomas, M. Experiences of place attachment and mental well-being in the context of neighbourhood regeneration : an interpretative phenomenological analysis. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Feb 12, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 12, 2020
Award Date Jan 1, 2019


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