A city is a space in which one encounters a diversity of strangers. Urbanity is therefore characterised by varied, dynamic and changing inputs. With the accelerated construction and destruction of buildings such impressions are intensified in modern cities. The goal of this core is to investigate how urban dwellers relate to the urban landscape and to each other: ‘What does urbanity mean to people who encounter it?’ This question will be explored by looking at the urban fabric of form, texture, flow and interaction from a psychological point of view. We do not yet know much about those sense‐making processes by which people distinguish city from non‐city, city center(s) from periphery, city paths from boundaries, etc. and how these distinctions in turn shape people’s experience and behavior. In developing theories and methods for approaching these topics, we will explore how urbanity looks, feels, sounds etc. to people, how they give it meaning and how they use it. A core focus will be how a feeling of “being at home” amongst strangers is generated. It is theoretically and methodologically related to studies in urban atmospheres and of sense-making in “non-places” like railway stations, ferry terminals and parking lots.
Sound of the City: this sub-project sets out to answer a bundle of questions related to these cacophonies of street life and shopping encounters.
Obstacles: Art and Other Urban 'Disturbances': this sub-project will focus on how the general public perceives, processes and adapts to the following different types of obstacles in the urban landscape.
Fluctuating Epicentres: this sub-project examines how people perceive the city’s centrality, how they delimit the ‘real’ city from different forms of outskirts and whether city centers are represented differently depending on lifestyles, age, gender or ethnicity.
Putting Memory in its Place: this sub-project seeks to answer yet unanswered questions about the social and psychological processes by which places become receptacles of personal and/or collective memories through new systematic empirical research on memory and place.