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 teenagers 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.