Abstract: Using three student reports as sources of information about young people’s encounter with urban places in Sisimiut, this article investigates how questions related to localities interlink with questions of private and public responsibilities. “Smoking on school premises”, “A view from a skidoo” and “Playgrounds in Sisimiut”, are presented as examples of young people’s perception of institutional and leisure arenas. The student reports from the local Technical School raise questions about health issues, security and accessibility, elaborated in a context of personal narratives, and correlated with localities such as the school, playground and those appropriated by the skidoo. Within different modes of appropriating space, private and public responsibilities are addressed by demarcating the smoking localities in an educational environment, raising awareness about playground security and accentuating the feasibility of a widespread urban space – accessed by innovative skidoo accessory. The student reports not only offer interesting insight to young people’s appropriation of space on different localities, but also insight to different levels of private and public responsibilities, accentuating important aspects of understanding urban space as a social and multi-scaled construct. By highlighting the importance of narratives in spatial analysis, I argue that localities interlink with questions of private and public responsibilities, as articulated configurations of socio-spatial relations - in the student’s reports, conceived as scales of indications, expectations and access.
Keywords: youth, space, narratives, urbanity
This article will be available in fall 2008 as part of proceedings of IPSSAS 2007 seminar in CPH/DK