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6.3 Methods of analysis

The data collected from the field was analysed basically in two different manners: naturalistic and existential. This division corresponds with the theoretical framework of the study. Data concerning the physical features of place was analyzed with naturalistic methods while existential methods were used for analysing the lived environment. However, the division is not a sharp one. As these two realms have much interaction with each other a completely separate scrutiny would have been practically impossible--and probably not any more fruitful to any considerable extent.

The method used in this study is layering (Fig. 6). Different aspects of place are layered on each others and the description enrichens as the study proceeds. It means that each subject--or layer--is not studied separately in a pure analytical manner. The study of each layer is based on what has already been studied about the previous ones. Thus the analytic section of this study also includes synthetic elements. On the other hand, in the section of synthesis, all layers are examined simultaneously in the framework of the concept of 'place'.

First of all, before studying a place one has to posit it in the world. This is the thrust of the first chapter of the naturalistic analysis: Position (Chapter 7). This term is used instead of 'location' to emphasize the wider aspects that 'positing' has. It does not only mean the location in space but also the one in time. Additionally, it is used here to mean the position of Roseau in a hierarchy of places: compared with other Dominican settlements and with the cities of the neighbouring islands. A description of the topographical qualities of the site on which the city is built is also given in that chapter.

The first layer which is placed on the site of Roseau is Structure (Chapter 8). The structure is the skeleton of the city and is therefore the first to be studied. On this layer I compare the overall form of the city and the structure of each of the districts to the classical city models (see e.g. Lynch 1981). The layering technique of Mario Gandelsonas (1991) is also used in the study of discontinuities of the street pattern. Finally, an analysis of the landmarks and district boundaries of Roseau is given under this chapter. In order to perform the analysis I use the theory of imageability and the performance dimension of sense (Lynch 1960; 1981; see Chapter 4.2).

The second layer is Function (Chapter 9). In this chapter it is studied how the functions of the city fit into its structure. Most of the performance dimensions of Lynch (1981) are studied here, i.e. vitality, fit, access, and control.

The third and the last of the naturalistic layers is that of Texture (Chapter 10). It contains an examination of the spatial patterns of the city: an analysis of how the different functions are located in the city structure. The analysis is performed within the theoretical framework of pattern language developed by Alexander et alii (1977; see Chapter 4.3). A study of the architectural characteristics of Roseau is also presented here.

The change from naturalistic to existential analysis is not abrupt. The last layers of naturalistic analysis, especially Texture, already contain some inside aspects. On the other hand, on the first layer of existential analysis, i.e. Visiting, the physical features of Roseau are still analysed.

On the fourth layer--Visiting (Chapter 11)--the aspects of place promoting and place images are introduced. The places in Roseau are now seen through the eyes of a visitor who comes to the city for a few days, or possibly for just few hours.

The existential aspect of Roseau is deepened on the fifth layer, Dwelling (Chapter 12). The lived environment of ten interviewed Roseau dwellers is the basis for this layer.

The last of the six layers is Changing (Chapter 13). It is not really an attempt to bring time into question which is already done in Chapter 7 (Position). On this layer some projects and plans concerning Roseau's future are presented but more than about the future it tells about the present intentions that the mostly official actors have towards the city of Roseau.

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