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  • Author or Editor: Miloslav Šerý x
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Perceptions of personal security significantly affect human behaviour in geographical environments. The way public places are perceived determines their utilization and their attractiveness among urban residents. Various methods have been applied to study perceptions of security and the environmental factors associated with it. Urban environments comprise a variety of places, including those with urban greenery. The main objective of this chapter is to explore and compare different participatory research methods focused on analysing the factors that influence perceptions of security in urban parks, and to explore their potential for placemaking processes. This overview is illustrated with three examples from the Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom. The first case study explores perceptions of topophobia in places with greenery and parks in the town of Šternberk (Czech Republic). It employs cognitive mapping by a selection of local residents, and results are visualized on (by the help of) semantic maps. The second case study explores the extent to which park infrastructure and maintenance levels affect perceived security in urban parks in Warsaw (Poland). The third case study uses data recorded from the crowdsourcing Place Pulse project to analyse the spatial association between perceived security and the tree canopy (including trees in urban parks but also in the streets) in London (United Kingdom). The relation between greenery and perceived safety may be context-dependent and vary across areas. All three participatory research methods use residents’ knowledge based on primary data gathering and digitization and as such offer practical tools for placemaking.

Open Access
In: Placemaking in Practice Volume 1