Image of the city through the eyes of inhabitants

L. Chernova, Yu. Shelest, O. Ivannikova


Object of research — residents of Dnepropetrovsk of all social groups aged 16 and older. Subject of research — images of urban environment and their perception by residents and experts (students of architectural department).

Urgency of the research issue is determined by the fact that the image of the city and urban environment designed and made by architects not always coincide with the city image created in residents’ awareness, which can act back on the environment and has a great effect on the process of its formation, structuring, usage and estimation.

Problem statement. According to modern sociology, the urban space is a communicative space. Scanning and understanding of the image that is put by designers and architects, its distortion and change during residents’ life in the process of their interaction with architectural and physical city environment shows that images in planning and architectural ensembles don’t coincide in residents’ vision and usage. City is the text that is written, rewritten, read and estimated differently.

Intensive development and growth of cities make their image perception and orientation in them difficult. Contradictory urban space generates the same ambiguous estimations, impressions, emotions and feelings. This can make difficult the residents’ identification with the city as it requires complete image. According to M. Yakovleva the clearer the idea about the object identification is, the easier the correlation of the individual with the object will be.

Сonclusion. City image can be determined as a combination of emotional and rational ideas about the city in group and individual awareness. This combination is based on communication and interaction with the environment, in the process of its perception.

1.  In the course of the research it was identified the city image change in residents’ awareness as a result of transfer from industrial to postindustrial society when old images (city-plant) are replaced by new ones, but complete new image is not still found as well as the ways of further development and specialization of Dnepropetrovsk are not determined.

2. Our research proved the fact that people who live in the similar conditions begin estimate their living space similarly. The resident of one city area gave similar images of their microdistrict and the city centre.

3. Architecture not only embodies social space with its structure, value systems and social inequality but also influence on new generations and changes society. Social differentiation determines spectrum of preferences and impressions on the city and indicates disadvantages of city space.

4. Architectural environment has an influence on the residents forming their taste, habits, behavior models, space images and culture of relations.

5. Architectural environment creates a certain combination of messages in people’s perception which is comprehended as text in the context created by architects, planners, customers and which is read and rewritten by residents in daily practice.

6.  Architectural environment eventually changes its images and needs constant support and development. At construction and reconstruction of a certain architectural environment its residents’ views, images and wishes should be taken into account. That will allow to get rid of subjectivism of designers and researches and understand the living world and problems of city agents’ relations.


image of the city; urban space; architectural environment; orientation in the life space


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