City Tour: Mental Maps as a Tool of Work with Urban Experience
Keywords:space, urban space, sociology of space, city image, non-place, imageability, mental maps, mapping, space syntax.
AbstractThe author describes emotional attachment of three different categories of Muscovites to the Kitay-gorod area; they are (1) residents of this area, (2) tour guides who conduct city tours, and (3) Muscovites who often spend their time in this area. Different practices of using this space raise the question about local semantic mapping. Regarding urban space as interaction between human and places, the author turns to mental maps. As mental maps require formalized and well-grounded methods of analysis, the basic method used in this study was space syntax method; other tools such as observation techniques, GPS tracking, and social and mental mapping were also used. Results show that three different groups of people provide different description of the same places. It was concluded that there is spatial order and semantic organization of places people are attached to. The results of the study can be further used in urban development and planning.