• Arts-Aided Recognition of Citizens’ Perceptions for Urban Open Space Management

      Suomalainen, Sari; orcid: 0000-0003-4839-841X; email: sari.suomalainen@student.lut.fi; Kahiluoto, Helena; email: helena.kahiluoto@lut.fi; Pässilä, Anne; email: anne.passila@lut.fi; Owens, Allan; email: a.owens@chester.ac.uk; Holtham, Clive; email: c.w.holtham@city.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-12-23)
      Urban open spaces of local natural environments can promote the health and well-being of both ecosystems and humans, and the management of the urban spaces can benefit from knowledge of individuals’/citizens’ perceptions of such environments. However, such knowledge is scarce and contemporary inquiries are often limited to cognitive observations and focused on built environmental elements rather than encouraged to recognize and communicate comprehensive perceptions. This paper investigates whether arts-based methods can facilitate recognition and understanding perceptions of urban open spaces. Two arts-based methods were used to capture perceptions: drifting, which is a walking method, and theatrical images, which is a still image method and three reflective methods to recognize and communicate the perceptions. The results show related sensations and perceptions enabled by arts-based methods comparing them to a sticker map method. The main findings were perceptions, which included information about human−environment interaction, about relations to other people and about ‘sense of place’ in urban open spaces. The hitherto unidentified perceptions about urban open space were associations, metaphors and memories. The methods used offer initial practical implications for future use.