Urban planning design considers sense of place attributed to the environment because it is important to quality of life and influences citizen support for planning proposals. In this paper, the physical and geographic characteristics that increase and decrease levels of sense of place were analyzed. Mediation effects of prior expectations and belief in urban legends attributed to specific environments were controlled for. A total of 1727 residents from 10 different districts of the city of Barcelona participated. Empirical urban parameters were measured for each district (e.g., hectares of parks and rate of streets with noise above 60 dB) and the weight with which they predicted levels of sense of place was objectively quantified. Perceived quality of life and residents' positive expectations of green spaces were measured also. Structural equation modeling (SEM) assessed theory relating green environments to sense of place and tested which urban elements had a detrimental effect. When including the mediating effects of prior expectations and perceived quality of life, urban parameters related to green spaces predicted increases in sense of place between 11% and 40%. Decibels, pedestrian streets, and the number of police arrests predicted systematic reductions in sense of place between 18% and 20%. Accordingly, the authors proposed two urban models of positive and negative feedback on sense of place. Application of these will improve urban planning by enhancing decision making efficacy.