Scientific publications

Zhigaltsova T. Favorite and Least Favorite Places of the Northern Border Cities // Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic: Local and Indigenous Communities: A Joint Monograph / edited by Kamrul Hossain, Jose Miguel Roncero Martin, Anna Petreteil. Leiden; Boston: Brill Nijhoff, 2018. pp. 357-384. ISBN 978-90-04-36304-5. DOI: 0.63/9789004363045_00. 


Contemporary urban studies deal with emotional connection between the inhabitants and their places of living. It is important for residents to experience place attachment and security in order to prevent migration. The author hypothesizes that the city must satisfy the residents’ need for comfort, security, beauty, cleanliness, and feeling of uniqueness, in order to create place attachment.

The aim of the study was to investigate if children and adolescents in small provincial border cities have a feeling of place attachment. An open-question questionnaire was distributed among 56 Russian schoolchildren in Nikel, Murmansk Region. Additionally, the children provided drawings of their most and least favorite places in the city, which were analyzed with pictorial method.

The findings in this study indicate that place attachment among Russian schoolchildren prevails over place repulsion. However, an alarming tendency among secondary school children (desire to leave the city) was observed. Also, the study showed the presence of blank spots in the emotional perception of the cities: the accentuation of the center and the periphery, and indifference towards the remaining space.

The research has vast practical implications for developing local policies for improvement of psychological climate, living conditions, architectural designs of the small provincial border city.


Zhigaltsova T. City as home: sense of security and emotional places in the drawings of schoolchildren from the Nordic countries and Russia. In Arctic Yearbook 2021: Defining and Mapping Sovereignties, Policies and Perceptions / Ed. by L. Heininen, H. Exner-Pirot and J. Barnes Akureyri, Iceland: Arctic Portal. P. 572-591. ISSN 2298–2418 Available from 


The article gives an overview of the concepts of “feeling of place”, “place attachment” and “sense of security” in phenomenological tradition in the fields of geography, psychology, and culture studies. The author demonstrates the utility ofthe drawing method in the interpretation of "sense of security" in relation not only to specific places, but to the entire urban environment. The results of the study among the children and teenagers from Tornio (Finland), Haparanda (Sweden), Nikel (Russia) and Kirkenes (Norway) are presented. The study was based on an anonymous questionnaire with open-ended questions and children’s drawings. A total of 56 questionnaires in Nikel, 33 in Haparanda, 35 in Tornio and six in Kirkenes were collected between 2015 and 2020. The schoolchildren were asked if they considered their cities clean, safe, and friendly. The questionnaire also included questions about specific places in the cities that the children and ateenagers associated with the feelings of interest, joy, comfort, pride, anxiety, sorrow, disgust, and shame.

The study identified the criteria of a secure urban environment, the most important of which being a “feeling at home”. This was reflected in the drawings of places triggering positive emotions of comfort, joy, interest (emotopias of peace and activity). It was proven that negative emotions such as sorrow in connection with cemeteries, shame and disgust in connection with dirty and polluted places do not diminish the sense of security among schoolchildren, as opposed to anxiety (dark places, abandoned buildings). The obtained results were visualized by means of interactive emotion maps.


Zhigaltsova T. Emotional tapestry of small cities: emotional perception of urban environments by Swedish and Finnish senior citizens. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society 2022. Vol. 46, no 2, pp. 30-50. DOI:


The paper investigates the emotional foundation of sense of place in small urban environments. The study was based on an anonymous questionnaire exploring various emotions in relation to urban environments in two small northern cities Haparanda (Sweden) and Tornio (Finland). The study revealed that senior citizens mentioned emotions connected to the past (sorrow), active living (interest, joy), and solitude (ease) more frequently than any other emotions, and attributed these to such places as historical buildings, churches, cemeteries, swimming pools, etc. The border between

the two cities was marked by mixed emotions, both positive and negative. To visualize emotions and places of emotions in Tornio and Haparanda, as well as for insight into the boundaries of emotional urban environments, the author created emotion maps of these cities. The maps visually resemble multi-colored tapestries with emotions as nodes, which inspired the title of this paper. This study allowed expanding the scope of the anthropology of emotions by the inclusion of territorial focus in the study of small urban environments. In the context of world-wide population ageing tendency, we

need to study places of emotions to come up with a comprehensive and integral approach to city planning policies, and to create more adaptable and age-friendly urban environments.

Some of the publications are included in ResearchGate and eLibrary.Ru

In 2015-2023 Tatiana Zhigaltsova participated in 30 national and international conferences in Arkhangelsk, Ekaterinburg, Petrozavodsk, St. Petersburg, Rovaniemi (Finland), Helsinki (Finland), Kautokeino and Tromsø (Norway), all followed by the publication of articles. The most important conferences included:    

1. Favorite and Least Favorite Places of the Northern Provincial City (as Exemplified in the Drawings of Schoolchildren) // Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic with Specific Focus on the Barents Region: Environment, Sustainability and Development. Rovaniemi, Arctic Center; Hetta: Administration; Kautokeino: Sami Institute, 26-28.03.2017 (participation in person);

2. Historical and Emotional Memory of Forest Settlements’ Creation in the Arctic Zone of the Russia (as remembered by senior citizens) // Uarctic Congress, Helsinki, Finland 06-07.09.2018 (participation in person);

3. Emotional Geography of the Arctic City // Arctic Arts Summit 2019 - The Arctic as a Laboratory for sustainable art and cultural policy, Rovaniemi, Finland 03-05.06.2019 (participation in person);

4. The places of emotional attachment and rejection for Haparanda (Sweden) and Tornio (Finland) senior citizens, and interactive emotion maps of these cities // International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS X), Archangelsk, Russia. June 15-20, 2021 (online);

5. Эмоциональные карты арктических пограничных городов Финляндии и Швеции // XIV Конгресс антропологов и этнологов России, Томск, Томский Государственный Университет, Россия, 6–9 июля 2021 г. (online); 

Картографирование эмоций: направления и подходы // Пятый Российский культурологический конгресс с международным участием «Культурное наследиеот прошлого к будущему», Санкт-Петербург, Российский научно-исследовательский институт культурного и природного наследия имени Д.С. Лихачева, Россия, 8–10 ноября 2021 г. (online); 

7. Living by the White Sea: tourism, emotions, security // Arctic Frontiers 2022 - Pathways, Tromsø, Norway, 08-11 May 2022 (online).

8. Interactive emotion maps as visualization of emotional health of citizens // Arctic Frontiers 2023, Norway, from January 30th to February 2nd (online).

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