The search for relationships and dependencies between the real city and its mental image, may prove to be a key to understanding and reading the needs of the residents, primarily related to safety and comfort of living, as well as the location of places conducive to the development of social bonds. One of the important elements in the structure of a city is the public space. Reproduced on the mental maps, it is the most distinctive and recurring element in its image. Not adapted to new needs and neglected, it disintegrates the local community. Erased from memory, it leaves an empty space in the notional image of the city. Students from three Kraków-based universities have been dealing with the issue of the repair of public spaces (at the stage of creation of conceptual designs) for several years, forming interdisciplinary design teams made up of architects, interior designers, sociologists and aesthetes. Practical sociological studies are employed in order to create an image of the needs of the local inhabitants, which is then translated into design visions of various types of public spaces, conducive to the realization of their needs.