In the modern world, due to the constant and rapid growth of the progress of urbanization processes, the city is becoming the natural habitat of humans. The level of wealth in many societies allows people to freely look for a place to live that is suitable to them. We can inhabit environments (speaking in micro as well as macro scale) that not only satisfy basic living conditions, but that also correspond to our preferences (Dębek and Janda-Dębek, 2013). The factors influencing this state may include not only the resources or aesthetic values of a place, but also the characteristics of its spatial makeup, which are connected to the cognitive functioning of humans.

Contemporary researchers in many fields of science more and more often focus on formal features of space that are related to how people give subjective meaning to the space and how they create adequate cognitive representations of the space in cities. Creating a simplified scheme of space, a cognitive map, is a thoroughly parsimonious solution which allows us to freely move about and find solutions to problems that pertain to different areas (Tversky, 2003). To understand the relations between a place and its cognitive representation we must consider, what personal traits of the user and what formal traits of the environment influence the process of creating the representation. Grasping the gist of the relations will allow us to plan and revitalize urban spaces that satisfy not only the material, but also emotional and cognitive needs of people.

The presented research findings are an element of a larger plan, whose goal is to find the personal traits connected to cognitive functioning of men and women which influence the creation of cognitive representations of urbanized spaces. Cognitive maps yielded by participants (n=90) were analyzed with regard for content of elements, personal meanings and appearing mistakes concerning demographical traits, formal traits of the places drawn, their meaning, frequency of visitation, as well as subjective legibility according to K. Lynch’s definition (2011). Based on the findings aspects which significantly differentiate cognitive representations of space in the form of cognitive maps were singled out for further analysis.