The scales of the metropolis: Exploring cognitive maps using a qualitative approach based on SoftGIS software

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Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The spatial dimension of daily mobility depends on where people choose to perform their daily activities in urban environments. This study explores the influence of multiple geographical scales, characterising metropolitan regions on the cognitive images of individuals, whose daily mobility is restricted by an interurban daily commute to a university campus in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona. To do so, a sample of 28 adults from the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (RMB) were asked to describe perceived activity spaces using a combination of SoftGIS technology and interviews. Results have shown that different individuals can perceive the same geographic context in several manners, differentiating their utilised space between spatial continuums, fragmented territories or overlaid territories. Furthermore, factors such as the different spatial scales that affect a territory, the morphological characteristics of residential areas or the transport infrastructures, have proven to influence cognitive maps of individuals. Finally, different methods utilised for the exploration of cognitive maps have provided variations in the resulting cognitive images of participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
JournalGeoforum
Volume88
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Activity spaces
  • Barcelona
  • Cognitive maps
  • Environmental perception
  • Metropolitan regions
  • Spatial scales

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