Participative approaches to analyse the space behavior of adolescents in the city

It is not possible to be nowhere. But where are we? Why are we there? How do we access these places? How do we organize and form them? And which meanings do they have for us?

The public space in cities is limited and overlapped by competing claims among interest. For young people, this space offers the possibilities to escape from parental and academic control. They meet like-minded people and friends, just hang out or use them as container and platform for signs and symbols of their affiliation. Beside this, public space helps adolescents to integrate into the adults’ society. Within this project, we collect and analyze the spatial activities of young people in Vienna to deduce proposals and concepts for a city development and open space planning that is suitable for them.

As tools for the data collection we use GPS devices, mobile phones as well as digital photo and video cameras and audio recording devices. For data processing and visualization, web-mapping and virtual globe technologies like GoogleMaps, GoogleEarth or OpenStreetMap are used.

Following the principles of trans-disciplinary research the participating school students are integrated in the project work from the beginning. This means, that they do not only learn about current research methods from the field of social geography and geo-information, but also get involved in the development and design of methods (web programming, questionnaire design, etc.). The hereby developed tools are also used for artistic forms of expression (GPS Art, GPS Drawing).

The results from the data analysis are then presented and discussed by the students in a workshop of the municipal urban development and planning department together with representatives of the City administration.

This project has been completed.