A lot of studies discuss the consequences of suburban living on small children but little has been written about the effects of this particular physical environment on teenagers. This study seeks to determine how teenagers, 13-17 years old, use public spaces in their residential areas and their city, to create purpose and context in their existences. During a three-year period, different groups of friends from a suburb of Lund, Sweden were studied both in their housing area and in the downtown area'. The various places used by these young people are described and characterized. The purpose of the study was to investigate how teenagers relate to the built environment in relation to 1) their real use of different places and environments in public areas, and 2) the symbolic significance this use has for the youths. The reason the study was limited to teenagers is because this period is an important transition in the lives of young people, who are now leaving the parental home and entering the public environment. The following issues are taken up: - Where in the public environment do the young people congregate? What is characteristic for just these places? How do these places relate to their area and to the city as a whole? - What kind of activities and actions do the teenagers engage in in these places? Why do they seek out these places? Does their use of these places differ from that of adults and other groups? - What idea do youths have of their city, their immediate surroundings and their residential area? - In what way do the young people use the physical environment for their development? What symbolic significance do public places and spaces have for different teenagers?