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Forskningsartikel2024Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Visual representation of safety in urban spaces: a tale of two neighbourhoods

Shahrad, Azadeh


Urban studies have addressed the role of media with regard to the ways in which the production of news affects the practicing of urban life. Media promotes urban growth, but also plays a role in the creation of negative images ascribed to places and neighbourhoods. This paper explores discourses of safety and security, illustrated in Swedish newspaper representations of two neighbourhoods in Malmö, Sweden, with different social status. Content analysis and discourse analysis methods were used to contribute to the understanding of potentiality as well as hindrances for a just urban planning. The overall result shows a negative image of Bellevuegården as a problematic area, whereas Västra Hamnen is presented as an attractive and safe neighbourhood. The study also identifies the interrelations and intertextuality between each neighbourhood and the city of Malmö as a whole. It is highlighted how Malmö has struggled with its negative reputation as a dangerous city. To favour one and disfavour another area does not contribute to equality and integration, which is the vision involved in the comprehensive planning of Malmö city. It has been concluded that the news media’s representation of neighbourhoods has influenced how they are perceived, both by inhabitants and by society at large.


safety; social impact; town & city planning

Publicerad i

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Urban design and planning
2024, Volym: 177, nummer: 1, sidor: 4-20