Does size matter? Influence of city size to meanings attributed to urban places in the context of public safety.

City / Country / Region: 
Olomouc and other 12 cities and towns (selection would depend on a required geographical scale) of the Olomouc region/ the Czech Republic.
2021 - 2022
Commissioner(s) / Initiator(s): 

Miloslav Šerý

Local / Citizens' Knowledge Production as a Tool for Placemaking: 

Knowledge production through visualizing the mental maps of citizens. 

Participatory Processes: 

Use of the endogenous approach for city planning, the participation of residents in a questionnaire and focus groups, for more detailed information see “digital tools used” section.

Safety, security and remembering trauma, as triggers for placemaking and local knowledge production over time:: 

The project is focused on how the size of a city/town affects meanings of urban places in the context of public safety. This research aims to assess whether the geographical scale of an urban environment significantly determines the intensity of both positive and negative meanings attributed to urban places by residents. The spatial objects of this research will be chosen cities and towns differing in their size. The research problems can be stated as follow:

  • We will inquire whether there are important discrepancies between meanings (both topophobic and topophilic) attributed to specific types of public urban places across cities differing on the geographical scale. 
  • The second research problem is to explore the intensity of both negative (topophobic) and positive (topophilic) meanings of specific types of public urban places and identify whether these intensities vary across cities differing on the geographical scale.
Digital Tools Used: 

Online questionnaire allowing the collection of mental images (mental maps) of residents participating in the questionnaire. It is a tool that offers the opportunity to actively involve citizens in the process of gathering feelings and meanings concerning particular places within cities and towns where they live. It is a means of participatory planning of public places. 

Bottom-Up Digital Practices: 

The residents can use above-mentioned toll that will be freely available to gather required data for further spatial analysis. 

Disciplinary / Professional Field: 

Geography, regional and urban planning, urban studies

Articles / Publications / Websites: 

The results of the research would be appropriate for publishing in one of relevant geographical journals (e.g. Cities, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Moravian Geographical Reports, Urban Studies, etc.) indexed in WoS and having a broad readership of both academics and non-academics.