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THE CITY AS A PACKAGING FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATION

Abstract

The obtained research results provide a cognitive image of the city in the shape of its linguistic representations. It seems that the presented research provides an interesting foundation and more detail on the issues related to the functions of the city and its image in the eyes of residents, which, as a result, may constitute an interesting apparatus for exploring solutions in the field of architecture or urban planning - after all, these two areas of design are, in principle, oriented towards the final user. The obtained data show that the city is primarily perceived from the perspective of possible socialities - social relations; in this area, the respondents see the characteristics of the city, which also translates into the dichotomy of its functions, which can be defined precisely by the category of social functions (social relations, entertainment, culture) and protective functions (shelter, house, flat, work). Although this is probably not a discovery for architects and town planners, the answers emerging from the presented results force us to reflect on the current design applied in the city and for its residents - the semantics of the city as such is ambiguous, and certainly not fully positive. Respondents point to problems that architects and city planners are also familiar with: overcrowding, congestion, pollution, noise.
AMPS PROCEEDINGS SERIES 24.1
City Tech - CUNY, AMPS
Virtual: 16-18 June, 2021
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of
Culture, Climate and Design Online
EDITOR:
Jason Montgomery
EXECUTIVE EDITOR:
Eric An
COPYEDITOR:
Amany Marey
© AMPS
AMPS PROCEEDINGS SERIES 24.1. ISSN 2398-9467
INTRODUCTION
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of
Culture, Climate and Design Online
This proceedings publication is the outcome of the conference, Cities in a Changing World: Questions
of Culture, Climate and Design Online, held in June 2021. It was coordinated the research group
AMPS and City Tech, CUNY in New York.
A conference organised prior to an international pandemic found a prescience in setting a theme
focused on cities and change. The widely observed urbanisation of the human population, despite the
exposure of cities to climate impacts, places the city at the core of the human condition in our time,
requiring analysis and investigation to identify and address significant social, economic, and
environmental challenges that are compounding due to the intense pressures of the expansion and
increasing displacement/migration of urban populations. The COVID-19 pandemic raised the stakes,
provoking fundamental reconsideration of cities and the benefits but also dangers of density.
The theme of the conference, Cities in a Changing World, allowed scholars from over 30 countries to
explore the nature of cities and countryside from the profound perspective of global disruption and
abrupt change in patterns of daily life. In many cases, these scholars found the “new” normal
exasperating ongoing challenges of climate degradation, social fragmentation and injustice, inequity
and hardship. Others observed and documented creative adaptations that provide hope for critical
analysis and constructive change for increased social equity and awareness/engagement with the
environment supporting sustainable initiatives. Questions of the relationship of culture, climate, and
design prompted scholarly investigation of place, heritage, climatic and geographic adaptation in the
emerging scholarship of place-based sustainability.
This conference and the papers collected in these proceedings provide a rich exploration of cities in
cultural, climatic, and geographic contexts. Theory, history, and design, separately or in combination,
provide the basis for the presentation of diverse ideas that moves the scholarship of Cities in a
Changing World forward.
Jason Montgomery
City Tech
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1
CITY DIPLOMACY: THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR OF 1939/40
Mara Oliva
1
Chapter 2
RACE, SPACE & URBAN RENEWAL IN NEW ORLEANS: FROM PLESSY THROUGH
KATRINA
Blair M. Proctor
11
Chapter 3
ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, OR JUST UNMET SUPPORT NEEDS? HOW INTERVENING IN
NUISANCE BEHAVIOUR IMPACTS UNDERLYING VULNERABILITIES
Kirsty-Louise Cameron
18
Chapter 4
(RE)SHAPING BUILDINGS TO COPE WITH CLIMATE IMPACTS IN LOW-INCOME COASTAL
COMMUNITIES
Olumuyiwa Bayode Adegun; John Oluwatosin Atofarati
27
Chapter 5
THE VACILLATING SOURCES OF AUTHORITY THE CASE OF THE OLD TOWN IN TURKU,
FINLAND
Visa Immonen, Aura Kivilaakso, Maija Mäki, Tiina Männistö-Funk, Piia Pentti, Anna Sivula
38
Chapter 6
“DESIGN AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE: EMERGENT SKILLS IN PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION” INTERCONNECTING TWO SCIENTIFC AREAS TO UNVEIL EMERGENT
SKILLS IN THE CONTEXT OF LISBON’S CITY HALL
Pedro Alegria, José Ferro Camacho, Sabine Junginger
47
Chapter 7
IMPROVING MODULAR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION TO REDUCE THE IMPACT ON
ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEMS
V. Y. J Bandara, J. M. Taron, L. Kattan, And G. Assefa
58
Chapter 8
INTENTION, LIFE, VALUE: A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING
ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY IN THE CITY
Eszter Sántha , Marie Frier Hvejsel, Mia Kruse Rasmussen
67
Chapter 9
IMPROVISED ARCHITECTURAL RESPONSES TO THE CHANGING CLIMATE; MAKING,
SHARING AND COMMUNICATING DESIGN PROCESSES
Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows
79
Chapter 10
A USER-CENTERED MODEL FOR SMART-METERS’ ACCEPTABILITY
Brossollet Côme, Schelings Clémentine, Elsen Catherine
91
Chapter 11
ADAPTATION OF THE WALKABILITY INDEX AS A FIRST STEP TO STUDY ITS
CORRELATION WITH THE NUMBER OF FATAL PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS ON URBAN
ROADS. CASE STUDY: AVENUE HÉLIO PRATES, CEILÂNDIA, BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL
Juliana Carvalho Mendes Ozelim, Gabriela De Souza Tenorio., Mônica Fiuza Gondim., Valério
Augusto Soares De Medeiros
101
Chapter 12
CONNECTING EXPERIENCES OF BALCONIES FOR MORE RESILIENT CITIES
Carlos Mourão Pereira , Teresa Valsassina Heitor , Ann Heylighen
112
Chapter 13
REFUGEES IN A CHANGING CITY. QUESTIONS OF SPACE, HOUSING AND CITIZENSHIP IN
THE LISBON METROPOLITAN AREA.
Sílvia Leiria Viegas
123
Chapter 14
ARTISTIC, CULTURAL, AND POLITICAL INTERDEPENDENCE: CITIES IN MOTION FACING
THE CHALLENGES OF TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES
Christiane Wagner
133
Chapter 15
TOWARDS A HELIOCENTRIC URBANISM? RECONSIDERING SUNGLIGHT THROUGH THE
PRISM OF LOS ANGELES OLYMPICS 2028
Karolina Pawlik, G. Thomas Goodnight, Jackie Xu
142
Chapter 16
DEVELOPING A WORKFORCE OF APARTMENT INDUSTRY AMBASSADORS
Carla Earhart
149
Chapter 17
THE CITY AS A PACKAGING FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATION
Mariusz Wszołek
158
Chapter 18
ARCHITECTURE, CULTURE AND AGRICULTURE IN THE WENRUITANG VALLEY, SOUTH
CHINA.
Vincent Peu Duvallon, Tieru Huang, Ruzhen Zhao, Jiayu Bao
172
Chapter 19
FROM GARDEN HOUSES TO A GARDEN CITY, THUA THIEN HUE (VIETNAM)
Minh Quang Nguyen, Kelly Shannon, Bruno De Meulder
183
Chapter 20
WELCOME TO PROGRESS CITY: LESSONS IN STORY-DRIVEN DESIGN FROM WALT
DISNEY’S EPCOT
Jared Wells, Carla Earhart
196
Chapter 21
MANUAL FOR THE FUTURE CITY AND TIME MACHINES
Nicola Crowson , Tina Wallbridge
206
Chapter 22
HAUNTED ARCHITECTURE AND SHIFTING PERCEPTIONS: The NOTION OF HOME IN
POST-CONFLICT SYRIAN CITIES: ALEPPO, IDLIB AND RAQQA
Minerva Fadel, Mounir Sabeh Affaki, Sarah Ajjan Alhadid, Omar Dwedary, Yasmin Zeitouni,
Mahmoud Akkam, Sozdar Abdo
218
Chapter 23
URBAN DESIGN AND PLANNING IN GLOBALIZED CITIES: THE BERLIN EXAMPLE
Sigrun Prahl
231
Chapter 24
OCCUPYING THE ASPHALT: THE REPURPOSING OF PARKING LOTS DURING THE COVID-
19 PANDEMIC
Amy Trick
240
Chapter 25
DIGITAL INNOVATIONS FOR ARCHITECTURAL TRADITIONAL HERITAGE CONSERVATION
Claudia Trillo, Salvatore Barba, Victoria Cotella, Chiko Ncube, Rania Aburamadan, Athena
Moustaka, Kwasi Gyau Baffour Awuah, Chika Udeaja
252
Chapter 26
RESILIENT SPACES FOR REUSE AND RECYCLING. THE CASE OF MINALESH TERA: A
THEATRE OF PRODUCTION
Brook Teklehaimanot Haileselassie
266
Chapter 27
RESPONSIVE ENVIRONMENTS: DESIGNED OBJECTS AS ENABLERS OF NEW CYCLES
FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE URBAN ENVIRONMENT
Mirko Daneluzzo
279
Chapter 28
AN EMPTY SPACE, A VIRTUAL PLACE: CULTURAL LIFE AND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS IN
BESIEGED CITIES
Ivone Ferreira, Maria Irene Aparício, Leandro Madrazo, Nuno Fonseca, Patrícia Pereira, Rosalice
Pinto
289
Chapter 29
MATERIALS THAT SEPARATE AND CONNECT: COVID-19 AND PROTECTIVE BARRIERS
Aki Ishida
299
Chapter 30
RUNNING IN ROME: A BIO/DIGI-RHYTHMIC SOUNDSCAPE
Kathryn Lawson Hughes
311
Chapter 31
WHAT DOES ‘TAILORING’ MEAN IN AGILE METHOD TAILORING? A CONCEPT-CENTRIC
ANALYSIS OF EXISTING UNDERSTANDINGS OF AGILE METHOD TAILORING
Fangyuan Shen, Ian Stewart
320
Chapter 32
MAPPING SOCIAL CAPITAL NETWORKS OF FURNITURE INDUSTRY - RESILIENCE TO
CLIMATE EMERGENCY IN DAMIETTA CITY, EGYPT
Nourhan Heysham, Hisham Elkadi
334
Chapter 33
PLACE BASED PEDAGOGY: RE-THINKING TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING
Kirsty Macari, Helen O’connor, Callum O’connor, Joshua Speedie
346
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
AMPS | City Tech CUNY
Page 158
THE CITY AS A PACKAGING FOR SOCIAL
COMMUNICATION
Author:
MARIUSZ WSZOŁEK
Affiliation:
SWPS UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES, POLAND
INTRODUCTION
In the coming years, in the social, demographic and communication context, as well as in urban
planning, the city will become the main arena of changes
. Thus, it becomes important to study city-
forming processes and the possibilities of managing change not only in the urban and architectural
dimension, but above all in the social and communication one, taking into account the entire
repertoire of methods and tools in the area of research and design of social communication This
article presents the results of research on the perception of the city by its inhabitants in order to be
able to learn the broadest possible linguistic representations of this concept - it is interesting above all
what people say and how they speak about the city. The reliability of the study may be seen in the
dynamics of the emergence of ever new models describing the main directions of changes in planning
and designing cities - a large part of achievements in this area focuses on the so-called smart city,
which directly translates into computational value. It is technology that becomes the main driving
force behind changes, whose beneficiary is the often unaware end-user in any role - of a resident,
tourist, or investor. Another - broader - way of describing the upcoming changes is related to the
concept of creative cities
. However, this method quickly became the subject of criticism, as it
indirectly leads to the phenomenon of gentrification and social stratification in terms of access to
resources (economic, technological, etc.). The main threats resulting from the de-socialization of the
city at the level of planning and designing new models in which optimization is the overriding value
may also be seen - the city becomes an arena of technological and economic services, instead of being
an optimal social organism. Although defining new roles and functions of the city seems quite
difficult and comprehensive, positioning the city in a broader perspective, as long as it does not
provide solutions, allows to build interesting models, the implications of which are important for
many disciplines (e.g. for ethnography, cultural studies, architecture or urban planning). The role of
the city seems to be critical in the process of human development, e.g. from the perspective of
archeology, it is assumed that the city is a key indicator of the formation of human civilizations.
Civilization can be understood not only as a certain stage in the development of the human species
that meets the contractual criteria, but also as a result / effect of economic processes
. Studies on
culture and theories related to it more and more often refer to the issues of communication
It is
difficult to overestimate the culture-forming role of communication, especially since communication
seems to be a necessary condition for the formation of a society. Although there is no single definition
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of communication
, in recent decades the research on communication and the accompanying system
approaches have provided a fundamental contribution to the development of humanities and social
sciences. It seems that communication understood as a specific social game in the form of negotiating
meanings may constitute an adequate supplement to the current considerations on the city - on the one
hand, in order to be able to create models using the available and future computing resources, and on
the other hand, relating to the main postulate of designing communication: organising and stabilising
the society by ensuring differentiation, the culture of participation and the capacity for diversity.
From the design point of view, the basic range of packaging functions focuses on securing the
product, its trouble-free transport, storage, use and distinguishing it from the competition in a
purchasing situation - isn't it the same for the city that is supposed to protect, enable movement or
stay, using its functions and finally integrate, thus ensuring the distinctive character of the city.
Material and Methods
The starting point for deliberations on the ways of social and communication functioning of the city,
and in view of modelling such solutions in the future should be getting to know the perceptions of
various social groups on the semantics of the construct of a city. The point of departure in studying
the city from the perspective of communication was studying the functioning of the very concept of a
"city" in its linguistic representations obtained in the mode of linguistic empiricism. The aim of the
research project is the semantic verification of the concept of a city on a (possibly) representative
research sample. To achieve the above goal, a questionnaire with a standardized list of open questions
was prepared and supplemented with basic demographic information. The form of a questionnaire
will help in pursuing detailed research goals in the area of communication research: associations,
functions, differential and vision. Such a structure of research issues made it possible to prepare a list
of questions that will comprehensively cover the possible communication strategies and their
linguistic representations about what a city is and could be for its inhabitants.
Since the city is the main arena of civilizational changes, it is important to get to know the ideas
concerning it and its semantic representations in order to be able to adequately respond to dynamic
social, technological and cultural changes in the future. Currently, little is known about the
communicative and linguistic functioning of the concept of the city. This deficit could be remedied
with the help of, among others, this study. The scope of collected data is presented in Table 1. The
survey was conducted on a sample of 524 respondents in the form of CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web
Interview). Such a research tool allowed collecting a large number of simple answers during the
lockdown period resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic - the study was conducted in January-
February 2021. The collected data was used for the qualitative analysis of frequencies, taking into
account the following steps: data lemmatization, categorization and calculation of the frequency of
categories, and indication of significant statistical relationships using Chi-square statistical tests
(verification of the independence of variables), Phi and V-Cramer (analysis of the strength and
direction of the relationship between variables). In this article, due to the volume of basic frequencies,
statistical tests have not been indicated - their conclusions are presented in the discussion.
The proposed study does not explicitly include the initial hypothesis, although it is widely used in the
area of sociological or psychological research. Communication research
is not about verifying
hypotheses, but about verifying research problems and questions. The most important thing in the
study was the reconstruction of communication about a city in natural language. In such a case, it is
not possible to speak of hypotheses about natural language, which should be understood as a system
of signs. Thus, it was decided to comprehensively verify the communication structure, taking into
account its various dimensions. "Providing an answer to the thus specified research problem will
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
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allow, if the answer is affirmative, to confirm the applicability of the theoretical assumptions"
. The
aim of this study is not to confirm or only verify the hypotheses, but to verify communication on the
proposed subject - to check how the concept of a city in Poland is connoted and what communication
structures are used to operationalize it. With regard to the adopted assumptions and research issues, a
questionnaire was prepared with the following list of research questions: 1) A city is… (fill the gap);
2) What do you associate a city with? Please give a few short descriptive phrases; 3) What do you
think is a typical city? Please give a few short descriptive phrases; 4) What, in your opinion, is an
unusual city? Please give a few short descriptive phrases; 5) What do you think the city is for? Please
give a few short descriptive phrases; 6) What, in your opinion, is the difference between a city and a
village? Please give a few short descriptive phrases; 7) What is the city where you live like? Please
give a few short descriptive phrases; 8) What is the difference between the city you live in and other
cities? Please give a few short descriptive phrases; 9) The city used to be… (fill the gap); 10) The city
today is… (fill the gap); 11) The city of the future is… (fill the gap).
Sex
Education
Age
Place where you live
F.
M.
B.
S.
H.
15-
24
25-
34
35-
44
45-
54
< 54
villa
ge
>50
thous
and
50-
200
thous
and
< 200
thousa
nd
51,5
%
48,5
%
5,
0
%
58,
2
%
36,8
%
18,3
%
21,4
%
22,7
%
21
%
16,6
%
25,2
%
22,9
%
24,8
%
27,1%
Table 1. data structure, own study
THE RESULTS
As a result of the research, 8801 individual responses from the respondents were obtained, which
translates into an average of 800 responses to one question. The following part of the article presents a
summary of the frequency of responses in the form of a table and their discussion, distinguishing the
categories of research issues in the following order: associations, functions, differential, and vision.
Associations
The empirical results show that the respondents associate the city with a cluster of people (23.5%),
which is reflected in the results presented in Table 2, where such an association is declared by almost
16% of the respondents. The social character of the city is also reflected in the list of responses in
Table 3, where a typical city is "full of people" (13.1%), and respondents describe an unusual city as
"empty, depopulated" (10.6%), or "quiet, not crowded" (16 , 3%). The second distinctive group of
categories that the respondents associate the city with are "developed" (14.5%), have "buildings"
(11.3%) - in terms of the character of a typical city, the issue of buildings is the most frequently
represented category: "developed" (18, 3%), although this category does not appear in the question
about an unusual city. What is interesting from the perspective of a researcher and depressing from
the perspective of an inhabitant is the image of an atypical city, described by respondents as "green,
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ecological" (11.1%), and "clean, tidy" (5.7%). In opposition to an unusual city, a typical city is
described, inter alia, as "congested, crowded" (11.4%), "loud, noisy" (9.5%) or "dirty and polluted"
(5.2%) - which may be related to current communications related to climate protection and sustainable
development.
The city is ...
N
Per cent
Many people
210
23,5%
Many buildings
130
14,5%
Territory, area
100
11,2%
A specific town
75
8,4%
Traffic, hurry
21
2,3%
Dirt, pollution
13
1,5%
Bustle, noise
27
3,0%
Road infrastructure and transport
61
6,8%
Entertainment
25
2,8%
Service and commercial activities
46
5,1%
Cultural heritage
25
2,8%
Public institutions
16
1,8%
Work
28
3,1%
My place to live
45
5,0%
Opportunities, development
25
2,8%
Other
47
5,3%
Total
894
100,0%
Table 2. research results, own study
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What do you associate the city with?
N
Per cent
People
168
15,9%
Buildings
119
11,3%
Development, Science
16
1,5%
Traffic, hurry
67
6,3%
Dirt, pollution
40
3,8%
Bustle, noise
85
8,0%
Road infrastructure and transport
112
10,6%
Entertainment, events
41
3,9%
Shops, Shopping centres
79
7,5%
Cultural heritage
68
6,4%
Public institutions
33
3,1%
Work
46
4,4%
Place where you live
25
2,4%
Other
158
14,9%
Total
1057
100,0%
Table 3. research results, own study
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What do you think a typical
city is like?
N
Per cent
What do you think an
unusual city is like?
N
Per
cent
Big, small (size)
74
8,3%
Empty, depopulated
80
10,6%
Full of people
116
13,1%
Like a village, stretched out,
with no centre
44
5,8%
Jammed, crowded
101
11,4%
Peaceful, not crowded
123
16,3%
Comfortable, giving
possibilities
50
5,6%
Green, ecological
84
11,1%
Providing entertainment
22
2,5%
A specific city
38
5,0%
Lively
35
3,9%
Low rise, spaced buildings
44
5,8%
Well connected
39
4,4%
Small
59
7,8%
Fast, chaotic
54
6,1%
Friendly, has a community
22
2,9%
Dirty, polluted
46
5,2%
Clean, tidy
43
5,7%
Loud, noisy
84
9,5%
Boring, no events /
entertainment / leisure
activities
26
3,4%
Densely built
162
18,3%
Neglected, gloomy
31
4,1%
Other
104
11,7%
Devoid of industry and
services
26
3,4%
Total
887
100,0%
Devoid of infrastructure,
communication and transport
20
2,7%
Modern or historical
27
3,6%
Other
87
11,5%
Total
754
100,0%
Table 4. research results, own study
City functions
Defining the city as a social packaging essentially boils down to defining its function - product
packaging protects the product, secures it during transport, and allows for its trouble-free use. Does
the city fulfil similar functions as the packaging of an ordinary product? According to the
respondents, the city is mainly used for "work and earning money" (20.4%), "housing" (17.2%) and
"living" (10.6%). Respondents also indicate such functions as entertainment (8%) or fulfilling needs
(8.1%). In this approach, the city meets the basic needs of every inhabitant - it allows them to make a
living in certain conditions (city conditions in this case); performs a protective function for the
resident according to the same principles as the packaging of any product. An attempt to explore this
issue in the form of a question about the possibility of using what the city has to offer reveals its two
basic functions: "work" (18.4%) and entertainment in the form of the category "have fun, enjoy and
be entertained" (14.2%), "Attend cultural centres” (13.6%). It would be too much to say that these are
the dominant functions of the city, but the data presented below allow us to highlight a certain
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dichotomy of functions; on the one hand, there are protective functions (work, security, transport),
and on the other hand, social ones (entertainment, culture, comfort, convenience, development),
which is related to the dichotomy of packaging functions (see Wszołek 2019).
What do you think the city is for?
N
Per cent
Inhabiting
152
17,2%
Work, earning money
181
20,4%
Living your life
94
10,6%
Sightseeing, culture
18
2,0%
Developing trade and industry (economy)
14
1,6%
Comfort, convenience
49
5,5%
For entertainment, taking rest
71
8,0%
For self-development, gives opportunities, personal fulfilment
65
7,3%
Satisfying needs through services and goods
72
8,1%
Education
34
3,8%
For official and public matters
26
2,9%
For bringing people together in a given area
30
3,4%
For taking care of everyday matters
14
1,6%
For interpersonal interactions
33
3,7%
Other
33
3,7%
Total
886
100,0%
Table 5. research results, own study
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What do you think one can do in the city?
N
Per cent
Inhabit
107
8,4%
Live, everything
100
7,9%
Work
234
18,4%
Learn
73
5,7%
Take advantage of opportunities, develop yourself
48
3,8%
Have fun, enjoy and be entertained
180
14,2%
Attend cultural centres
173
13,6%
Relax
99
7,8%
Meet people
49
3,9%
Get things done
22
1,7%
Shop
106
8,3%
Go to restaurants, cafes
47
3,7%
Other
34
2,7%
Total
1272
100,0%
Table 6. research results, own study
Differential
The term differential does not refer to the competitiveness of constructs, but to their coexistence,
taking into account the variety of functions - in other words, compiling the difference does not consist
in looking for differences on the vertical axis of the relation (better worse), but on the horizontal
axis of the relation (different, different). In this context, the respondents were asked to indicate the
distinctive features of the city compared to the countryside - the most numerous categories were
"lifestyle and noise" (15.5%) and "population density" (15.8%). The issue of scale in the sense of
"size" was represented by 7.7% of all responses. According to respondents, a characteristic feature
that distinguishes the city from the countryside is also the "types and number of buildings" (9.9%) and
"access to services and trade" (8.6%), which in fact coincides with the functions of the city. Moreover,
the respondents were asked about the city they live in and what makes this city different from other
cities. In the first question, the respondents mainly referred to the scale of the city, describing it as
"big / small" (26%); The respondents often described their city as "well-kept / friendly" (11.9%) and
"developed, attractive" (8.1%). In the case of features differentiating the city of residence from other
cities, the issues of "landscape, location" (12.3%) and "size" (12.1%) appeared in the first place,
which is a reference to the previous question (Table 6). An interesting category of responses are those
concerning private feelings and specific atmosphere, which appeared in 10% of the responses, and
"heritage, history" (10.7%). In conclusion, it should be noted that the main differential regarding a
city is its size, population, lifestyle and the related atmosphere. The issue of specific buildings and
architecture is equally important, but gives way to issues related to scale, development and sociality.
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What do you think is the difference between a city and a village?
N
Per cent
Size
78
7,7%
Type and number of buildings
100
9,9%
Population density
159
15,8%
Lifestyle and noise
156
15,5%
Pollution
54
5,4%
Infrastructure and transport
47
4,7%
Type and availability of work, salaries
34
3,4%
Possibilities, quality of life
45
4,5%
Access to services and trade
87
8,6%
Entertainment and culture
60
6,0%
Relations and privacy
28
2,8%
Agriculture
33
3,3%
Nature, plants
33
3,3%
Traffic and the number of vehicles
26
2,6%
Other
68
6,7%
Total
1008
100,0%
Table 6. research results, own study
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
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What is the city where you live
like?
N
Per cent
What is the difference
between the city you live in
and other cities?
N
Per
cent
Big / small
170
26,0%
Size
63
12,1%
Nice
27
4,1%
Number of inhabitants
22
4,2%
Well-kept, friendly
78
11,9%
Heritage, history
56
10,7%
Dynamic, developing
20
3,1%
Peace and quiet
30
5,8%
Developed, attractive
53
8,1%
Views, location
64
12,3%
Green
32
4,9%
Developed
23
4,4%
Historic, touristic
37
5,6%
State of communication and
infrastructure
25
4,8%
Calm
38
5,8%
Available entertainment,
amenities
18
3,5%
Dirty, polluted
26
4,0%
Attractive for tourists,
popularity
28
5,4%
Unpleasant, neglected
41
6,3%
It is unattractive, neglected
31
6,0%
Boring, uninteresting
19
2,9%
It is clean and tidy
21
4,0%
Jammed, crowded
19
2,9%
Atmosphere, private feelings
52
10,0%
Densely developed, little greenery
9
1,4%
Opportunities for
development, study and work
21
4,0%
A specific city
55
8,4%
City development,
8
1,5%
Other
31
4,7%
Other
59
11,3%
Total
655
100,0%
Total
521
100,0%
Table 7. research results, own study
Vision
The last research issue presented in this article is the vision of the city in relation to history and the
present. For the respondents, the city used to be primarily a "settlement, town" (12.9%), which may
indicate that the city is perceived as a process of its development in the context of scale (size) - such
inference seems to be legitimate due to the image of the city in terms of scale (see results above). The
city also used to have "different buildings and architecture" (11.9%) and was "the centre and seat of
the authorities" (11.3%), which would indicate the distinctive character of the city as a privileged
space for living and exercising power. Today, the city is perceived primarily from the perspective of
the consequences of scale: "urban sprawl, metropolis" (10.1%), "cluster of people, community"
(8.1%) or "development" (8.0%). The category of scale is followed by two directions of its definition:
"modernity and development" (9.7%) and "traffic, congestion, noise, hustle and bustle" (∑ = 14.2%).
An interesting question in this context is the question about a vision of the city - the question about
the city of the future is in fact a question about the deficits of the present. In this context, the
respondents have indicated primarily "new technologies", which constitute an interesting reference to
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
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Page 168
the concept of smart city. The city of the future, discussed in terms of the deficits of the present, is
also described by the respondents as "comfortable, neat, ecological, a development centre" (∑ =
18.7%). On the other hand, the respondents point to the deepening city-forming process, indicating
that the city of the future should be perceived in terms of an "economic centre" (8.4%), "dense
development, less greenery" (8.1%) or the problem of "overpopulation" (6.4%). The emerging
triptych "once-now-in the future" is a picture of the city's development mainly in terms of its scale and
technology. Interestingly, the same functions of the city (though to a different degree) are represented
in each question regardless of the time (past present future): work, commerce, entertainment.
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
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Page 169
The city used to be
...
N
%
The city today is
...
N
%
The city of the
future is ...
N
%
Gloomy place,
poverty
22
3,3%
Traffic, crowds
74
9,7%
Comfortable, well-
kept place
48
6,8%
Undeveloped, no
buildings
10
1,5%
Hustle and bustle
34
4,5%
Opportunities to
work, learn,
develop
38
5,4%
Other transport
solutions,
infrastructure
18
2,7%
A place to live,
inhabit
23
3,0%
Economic centre,
centre of
development
59
8,4%
People, community
36
5,4%
Pollution
35
4,6%
Greenery, ecology
46
6,5%
Settlement, town
87
12,9
%
Trade and service
space
50
6,5%
Entertainment, full
of life
20
2,8%
Convenience,
prestige
45
6,7%
Modernity,
development
74
9,7%
Pleasant, peaceful
23
3,3%
Opportunities for
development, work
33
4,9%
Development
61
8,0%
New technologies,
cutting-edge
solutions
127
18,1
%
Centre of trade and
industry
56
8,3%
Infrastructure and
vehicles
24
3,1%
Dense
development, less
greenery
57
8,1%
Different
architecture,
buildings
80
11,9
%
Entertainment
and culture
39
5,1%
Metropolis, urban
sprawl
53
7,5%
Public services
12
1,8%
Availability,
possibilities
31
4,1%
Overcrowded,
overpopulated
45
6,4%
Pollution, noise
22
3,3%
Cluster of people,
a community
62
8,1%
Pollution, chaos
28
4,0%
Calm, less traffic
23
3,4%
Work, study
48
6,3%
Loneliness,
unhappiness
14
2,0%
Entertainment,
culture
15
2,2%
Urban sprawl,
metropolis
77
10,1%
Disaster, prison
31
4,4%
Centre, seat of
authorities
76
11,3
%
Prestige, comfort
16
2,1%
Same as today
14
2,0%
Other
137
20,4
%
Other
116
15,2%
Other
100
14,2
%
Total
672
100,0
%
Total
764
100,0
%
Total
703
100,0
%
Table 8. research results, own study
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
AMPS | City Tech CUNY
Page 170
DISCUSSION
The obtained research results provide a cognitive image of the city in the shape of its linguistic
representations. It seems that the presented research provides an interesting foundation and more
detail on the issues related to the functions of the city and its image in the eyes of residents, which, as
a result, may constitute an interesting apparatus for exploring solutions in the field of architecture or
urban planning - after all, these two areas of design are, in principle, oriented towards the final user.
The obtained data show that the city is primarily perceived from the perspective of possible socialities
- social relations; in this area, the respondents see the characteristics of the city, which also translates
into the dichotomy of its functions, which can be defined precisely by the category of social functions
(social relations, entertainment, culture) and protective functions (shelter, house, flat, work). Although
this is probably not a discovery for architects and town planners, the answers emerging from the
presented results force us to reflect on the current design applied in the city and for its residents - the
semantics of the city as such is ambiguous, and certainly not fully positive. Respondents point to
problems that architects and city planners are also familiar with: overcrowding, congestion, pollution,
noise.
The long-term goal of the research project that defines the city in terms of the packaging of the social
system is to seek and model specific solutions in the area of a socially sensitive city
. The aim is to
build a model that will not only focus on providing technological solutions (smart city) or offering the
city to selected and privileged social groups (creative class), but will take into account the city from
the perspective of sustainable development and broadly understood accessibility
. The search for
these solutions should begin with the communication image of the city, because communication is
responsible for the creation and maintenance of society
, and the society needs an environment
adequate to their life and survival.
Cities in a Changing World: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
AMPS | City Tech CUNY
Page 171
NOTES
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https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2018
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(1985): 5-20.
Fleischer, Michael. "Zarys ogólnej teorii komunikacji" Communication Design, 2007.
Wszołek, Mariusz. Reklama-perspektywa empiryczna. Wydawnictwo Libron, 2016.
Siemes, Annette. "Normalność i procedury normalizacyjne jako kategorie obserwacji dla badań
komunikacji1." Communication Design: 2005.
Grech, Michał. Obraz uniwersytetu w opinii mieszkańców Polski. Wydawnictwo Libron, 2013.
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forecast and technology), accessed July 5, 2021, https://www.swps.pl/strefa-designu/blog/20035-
projektowanie-miast-relacje-miedzy-prognozowanymi-zmianami-a-technologia
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for people of all ages and abilities." 1998.
Mace, Ronald. “Universal design in housing”. Assistive Technology, 10, 1998.
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