Asian cities have witnessed changes in the urban landscape and social behaviour in the past decades. As a result of a continuous transformation of urban centres, the sense of place is often subdued by a global culture and imagery that may have impacted the people’s perception and experience of the city. This paper dwells into the urbanites’ relationship with historical urban places in the context of Kuala Lumpur city, Malaysia. Based on a qualitative inquiry, this paper presents the way in which these places shape the perception, knowledge, emotion, and memory of the urbanites. Findings indicate that urbanites’ experience, role, length of association, and age provided varying reactions that defined the attachment, knowledge, and memory about the places. Place attachment was reflected in the economic and cultural dependency on the places. The cultural significance of the place was manifested in its diversity within the colonial, multi-cultural, and multi-ethnic identity. Thus, reinterpretation of culture and tradition should take into consideration the continuity of place legacy, heritage, and sociocultural values. Despite the urbanites’ strong identification and knowledge of the built heritage, preserving place identity is a challenging task due to the complexity of the physical environment and the urban life.
Keywords: Place Attachment, Dependence, Emotion, Memory, Urbanism.
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