50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
The main objective of all activities in the city is undoubtedly connected with satisfaction and well-being of the inhabitants, that is, the main beneficiaries of urban space. The cities compete for attention and confidence of investors, tourists, students, qualified employees and media interest as well, ensuring the appropriate quality of life to their communities. In other words, the cities compete for desirable opinions and perceptions of specific groups of people, thus the right image of a given territorial unit in their perception. In territorial marketing theory it is emphasized that residents are the most important target group of all activities in the city. Their positive opinion about the city is one of the most important, the strongest and the most desired local values. There is no doubt that residents' satisfaction enhances their local activeness and, above all, makes them 'natural ambassadors' of their city. As a result, the actions of local authorities, designed to change the external image of the city, are likely to perform more effectively. The term "image" is used to define a number of things and phenomenas. The image of the city is an overall view of subjective perceptions of reality, which were created in human minds as the perception effect, impact of the media, and informal sources of information. In literature, it is said that the image of place in operating meaning consists of: cognitive assessments (which concern knowledge of a unit and beliefs about the core subject of the attitude to the city/region), emotional expectations towards the core subject of the attitude, and behavior towards a given place. In the above context, the aim of this paper will be conceptualising place satisfaction as an emotional component of city's image in case of its resident. Developing a conceptualisation of place satisfaction for city residents will be based on survey carried out among students - one of the most important target groups of internal promotional activities in Bialystok (the capital of North-Eastern Poland).