Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

National Map of Security Threats as a Citizen Involvement Tool for Planning Safer Urban Public Spaces

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Abstract:  The National Map of Security Threats (NMST) implemented in Poland in 2016 is a GIS-based tool for digital crime and threat mapping involving citizens in the processes of shaping local security by reporting hazards in their neighbourhood (volunteered geographic information). The map—open for external users—is a source of information about common threats to the safety of human life and health, property, and public order, taking into account their spatial distribution, in the opinion of its users. Among 26 reportable hazards, there are categories related to (1) Traffic, (2) Greenery, (3) Water, (4) Demoralisation and Vandalism, (5) Poverty, (6) Alcohol and Drugs, and (7) Animals. The study aims to investigate which threats reported by citizens are the most represented on the NMST. The study covered data collected based on public access to the map in the period from January–December 2022. The analysis of the results allowed us to conclude that the most common threats belong to the following categories: (1) Traffic, (2) Alcohol and Drugs, and (3) Greenery. While the first two categories are not a surprise for researchers, and their importance is confirmed by other studies, the category of Greenery—its condition, damage, etc.—becomes more and more important, which was not confirmed in previous studies. Recognizing this is crucial to support processes of planning and designing more secure public spaces.

Keywords:  citizen participation; GIS; placemaking; Poland; security; urban public spaces; volunteered geographic information


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© Paulina Polko, Kinga Kimic. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.