Wednesday 28. September 2022

Student's Mental Map of Ísafjörður

Master students from the Coastal Marine Management program had a very interesting project on Monday. They hiked up to Naustahvilft, which is a very popular hike with the locals. It is often referred to as the Troll seat, because of an old story about a giant troll that is supposed to have sat down on top of the mountain to rest, leaving a huge pit in the side of the mountain.



The hike is short and scenic and takes around 20-30 minutes and the students were very lucky with the weather.


When you reach the troll seat you are rewarded with an amazing view over Ísafjörður, which is exactly what the students needed for their assignement. 


The students had an exercise in mental mapping, where they had to describe Ísafjörður using structures like roads, pathways, edges and landmarks.


They also had to sketch Ísafjörður and pinpoint places where you transition from one place to another, like the airport or the roundabout.


The course that the students are taking is called Theory and Tools and the goal of this assignment was to understand as planners that people see things differently.


The next day the students presented their descriptions and sketches to the class and talked about why they drew Ísafjörður in a certain way. Common themes in the sketches were the University Centre, the swimming pool, the pathway next to the shore and Nettó (the local supermarket). The student's perspective of Ísafjörður was also under the influence of wether they have acess to a car or not. Those who have, tended to include a larger area in their mental maps. Their sketches and descriptions were indeed all very unique and different from each other and one student even described Ísafjörður from the perspective of the troll.