Exploring the meanings of urban parks 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 suggested project will analyze meanings that are given by the residents of selected cities and towns to the parks (understood as urban places with specific physical content) located within these urban spaces. The meanings of the parks will be studied within the context of public safety. The research problems can be formulated as follow:

  • Explore and identify similarities and differences in meanings of the parks determined by their location within the cities, size (parks as well as the cities, in which parks are located), appearance, functions etc.  
  • Explore the temporal dimension of meanings of the parks. This research problem aims to assess whether the meaning of the parks concerning public safety is time-dependent (daily, weekly, seasonal rhythms) or not.
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.