TOPOS – Topography of subjective (in)security in the city of Wels

Working areas
Project role


The feeling of security is an affective-cognitive state, dependent on interaction and space and usually remaining latent. This project aims at the development of an app for the city of Wels (Upper Austria), which records on the spot the subjective feeling of (in)-security of users of public areas. At the beginning of the project, the city and the police of Wels carried out a survey on the perceived security of the citizens. The project TOPOS will be integrated into these ongoing activities.

The TOPOS app collects personal feelings of the users at the scene. This promotes the users' attention for the public space and forms the basis for future-oriented measures and necessary improvements in the city of Wels, which also can have a positive impact on the feeling of security of the citizens.


The project TOPOS is coordinated by the Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology and is implemented together with the police of Wels and SYNE Marketing & Consulting GmbH.

queraum. cultural and social research is responsible for the ethical monitoring and puts a specific focus on the following issues:

  • protection of fundamental rights and social values of the citizens
  • aspects of the quality of living related to the feeling of security
  • participatory involvement of the civil society into the development process

The development of an app raises lot of ethical questions and questions about data security. Therefore, queraum. cultural and social research invites different stakeholders to workshops to accompany the technical development through a participatory process. In a data security perspective, a key aspect is the so-called privacy by design – it means that aspects of data security should already be considered in the process of the development of a technology.

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