Citizens' positive safety perceptions in public spaces

Ilona Suojanen, P. Saskia Bayerl, Gabriele Jacobs

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingConference proceedingAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Urban environments can be stressful places and as a majority of people now tend to live in cities, innovative ways to tackle citizens' insecurities and fears are needed. Smart decisions in planning safe urban places should be guided by the question of how citizens' perceived safety in cities can be improved. In this paper, using an exploratory approach of visual and narrative methods, we develop a framework that captures aspects, which lead to safety perceptions as positive experience. It contains three main themes that support safety perceptions in public spaces: place, perceived social presence and perceived information. We argue that safety perceptions are always a combination of multiple dimensions and aspects, and although safety is often divided into physical and mental safety, participants do refer to both of these interchangeably. Overall, our study contributes to the recent discussions about alternative approaches to safety, offers conceptual insights into the nature of safety as a positive experience and uncovers the broad spectrum of safety understandings as defined by citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 29th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2019
EditorsMichael Beer, Enrico Zio
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789811127243
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event29th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2019 - Hannover, Germany
Duration: 22 Sept 201926 Sept 2019

Publication series

SeriesProceedings of the 29th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2019


Conference29th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 European Safety and Reliability Association.


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