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Article

Атмосфера города: о происхождении и эволюции понятия в социальных науках

The article is aimed to clarify the contradictory nature of the urban atmosphere phenomenon by defining its’ nuances and the genesis of its’ appearance in social sciences. Such approach will help to conceptualize the phenomenon and will lead to the creation of the future urban atmosphere model suitable for further operationalization.

The research is represented by the theoretical analysis of works interested in urban atmosphere phenomenon in the field of sociology, phenomenology, management, literature, cultural geography.

The work can be divided into two parts. The first part describes the differences between urban atmosphere nuances, namely ambiance and atmosphere, and define them. Then the second part provide us with the information about ambiance and atmosphere origin and the process of its’ development from ancient times to this day. In the end of the article the necessity of taking into account the urban atmosphere shades, when dealing with model creation, is argued.

According to the analysis the atmosphere is invisible but is characterized by magnetic properties making the urban space attractive for living bodies. The ambience is produced by the atmosphere, but have the more pronounced qualitative properties which characterize the urban space. The ambience influence on our lifetime by mediating the relations between living bodies.

The consideration of the urban atmosphere genesis in different research fields showed that the atmosphere has been studied mainly within natural science and literature as descriptive quantitative phenomenon aimed to define the space of existence for living bodies.  Whereas the ambiance, full of qualitative and tangible characteristics, has been appeared later and has been borrowed by a number of research disciplines (such as sociology, psychology, economics, management) as possible to be analyzed and slightly applied in practice.

According to the analysis the author reaches the conclusion that the urban atmosphere is the highly constructed phenomenon consisting of either atmosphere, or ambience. The second one is the qualitative continuation of the first one and the characteristics of both shouldn’t be overlooked when conceptualizing the phenomenon. The analysis also showed that the functioning principles of physical atmosphere and ambiance can be applied in the model creation. It is connected with the absence of explanation of urban atmosphere and ambience functioning by social scientists. The application of these principles from physics will provide the full scheme of urban atmosphere components interrelation and interaction.