Contemporary urban studies deal with emotional connection between the inhabitants and their places of living. It is important for residents to experience place attachment and security in order to prevent migration. The author hypothesizes that the city must satisfy the residents’ need for comfort, security, beauty, cleanliness, and feeling of uniqueness, in order to create place attachment.
The aim of the study was to investigate if children and adolescents in small provincial border cities have a feeling of place attachment. An open-question questionnaire was distributed among 56 Russian schoolchildren in Nikel, Murmansk Region. Additionally, the children provided drawings of their most and least favorite places in the city, which were analyzed with pictorial method.
The findings in this study indicate that place attachment among Russian schoolchildren prevails over place repulsion. However, an alarming tendency among secondary school children (desire to leave the city) was observed. Also, the study showed the presence of blank spots in the emotional perception of the cities: the accentuation of the center and the periphery, and indifference towards the remaining space.
The research has vast practical implications for developing local policies for improvement of psychological climate, living conditions, architectural designs of the small provincial border city.