IntroductionPol’s explanation of space appropriation states that appropriation takes place when a ‘vacuum’ becomes ‘space’ (Pol, 1996). That space is dependent on the subject’s cultural background and his own identity depends on the space being appropriated. Appropriation is therefore the basis for the explanation of a number of aspects of urban life which otherwise could not be adequately explained.This is an ongoing research project in which we have undertaken a study of perceived environmental quality, in a way that considers different aspects of the reality of public spaces in several neighbourhoods. To this end, we have researched the different factors that influence the study. We have employed different variables, such as the degree of consolidation of the neighbourhood (its age, layout, variety of uses and the degree of utilisation of these), the gender of the subjects, their age and the time residing in the neighbourhood, their knowledge of it and everyday interactions with it and their relationships. By using the data collected through the questionnaire, we will be able to draw comparisons between the variables. We expect to see the degree of consolidation of the neighbourhood emerge as the most influential variable in the outcome of the study.Our immediate objectives are:To know if the degree of appropriation of the space occurs to a greater degree when the subjects reside in neighbourhoods of greater urban consolidation. We will attempt to analyse the ways in which that appropriation takes place. Finally, and in the measure to which the previous objectives are achieved, we will attempt to elaborate an approximate model of the appropriation on the part of the children, from a psycho-social perspective (cognitive, partner-affective, ecological aspects, etc.), which is the reason for collecting data on general factors in this scope.The starting hypotheses for our study are, firstly, that in the neighbourhoods of greater urban consolidation (the most central ones) due to the design of its fabric, the appropriation is encouraged. Secondly, we will attempt to explain the way in which this appropriation takes place (conducts of care, maintenance, attachment to the place) in the expectation that in the more centric neighbourhoods these will be greater.ParticipantsOne hundred and sixty-seven children with an average of age of 11 years were asked to fill a specific questionnaire designed for the research. The participants were 50.9% male and 49.1% female six graders from four State Primary schools in the city of Madrid, in each of the four neighbourhoods, Chamartín (46), Tetuán (40), Vallecas (41) and Vicálvaro (40). Chamartín and Tetuán were considered as central city neighbourhoods whereas Vallecas and Vicálvaro were considered as peripheral neighbourhoods while all of them have parks and green areas, the urban fabric as well as the level of urban consolidation are totally different between the central and peripheral neighbourhoods.InstrumentPart A: The questionnaire is in the form of a Likert-type scale consisting of 99 items divided in three blocks which refer to Public Space as it is understood in terms of city planning: Squares, Parks and Streets. The Questionnaire was assembled on the components as proposed by Pol: action-transformation and identification. Part B asks subjects list up to 20 locations in the neighbourhood from memory. In Part C, the subjects are asked to draw a sketch map, which would serve as directions on how to reach their home. In Part D they are asked to write a short assay on their neighbourhood.Preliminary conclusionsInsofar as this is an ongoing research project, preliminary statistical analysis of the collected data points to the possibility that Pol’s appropriation theory is verifiable and can be used as measure of the perceived environmental quality.ReferencePol, E. (1996): “La apropiación del espacio”, en Cognición, representación y apropiación del espacio, Iñiguez, L. & Pol, E. (Comp.). Publicaciones de la Universidad de Barcelona.