IJSSH 2013 Vol.3(2): 171-175 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2013.V3.221

House Garden as a Symbol of Place, Identity and Sense of Belonging for Low-Cost Flat Residents in Urbanizing Malaysia

Suriati Ghazali
Abstract—House garden symbolized people’s place, identity and sense of belonging. These subjective elements of house gardens is less realized by the gardeners themselves, however, they are evidently important in influencing peoples’ behavior in everyday life. This paper will discuss house gardens as symbol of place, identity and sense of belonging for residents in low-income housing area of urban Penang, Malaysia. Multiple methods were used in the collection of data, which include questionnaire survey on 61 low-cost flat residents, in-depth interviews with 15 selected residents and general observation on the gardens owned by the respondents. Two third of the low-cost flats’ residents have shown enthusiasm to gardening, in which, they have converted public spaces into private gardens. Interviews revealed that house gardens proved their attachment to place, place identity and sense of belonging.

Index Terms—House gardens, low-income urban communities, place identity, sense of belonging, Topophilia.

Suriati Ghazali is with the School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia (e-mail: suriati@usm.my; suriati8@gmail.com).

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Cite:Suriati Ghazali, "House Garden as a Symbol of Place, Identity and Sense of Belonging for Low-Cost Flat Residents in Urbanizing Malaysia," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 171-175, 2013.

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