Redefining the Ontology of Place as the Urban-Relational

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. candidate in Urban Design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associate professor, School of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: The contemporary metropolis faces two sometimes conflicting roles through the discursive and paradigmatic developments in the world: role-playing at the national/ transnational level and meeting local-level expectations. Similarly, and because of the multiplicity and diversity of relations between these two levels and the different subjects underlying these dual roles, the ontological definition of “place” in this metropolis has to be changed. Here, we are considering a conception of the existence of the place in which it can adopt the aforementioned complex communications and the probable and unseen conflicts within it as a quasi-object (the contained), and manage it as a quasi-subject (container) and accommodate it.
Research objective: Redefining the ontology of place in such a way that it can mediate as an intermediate layer, i.e. “the urban-relational” between these two role-playing levels: place as a quasi-object / place as a quasi-subject.
Research method: The research paradigm focuses on post-positivist schemata and the post-structuralism approach, and follows the ontology of place as an urban-relational entity in today’s metropolis. The method of this research is qualitative and its type is developmental-exploratory. This research seeks to present a new ontology of the concept of place in metropolis through the review of library documents and the description, analysis, and extension of ideas and theoretical approaches.
Conclusion: place as a quasi-object/ quasi-subject must be a communicative mediator (the urban-relational) between the two different levels of role-playing, thereby regulating the communications of multiple and sometimes heterogeneous subjects and adjust conflicts between them. The mediation coordinates of this urban-relational intermediate layer allow for four spectral states for the level of place-ness: towards minimal place-ness; towards maximal place-ness; towards some extent of place-ness; the probability of anarchy and disorder.


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