This article describes how to use mental maps in the study of contemporary urban space. 122 maps of various territories of Sverdlovsk region were collected in 2011. The research strategy developed for the analysis of elements of the industrial urban space is based on both the concept of mental maps (Kevin Lynch) and the definition of places of memory (Pierre Nora). Basic elements of the city image are identified. The authors come to the conclusion that particular construction of the image of industrial cities under research — focus on symbolically important elements — encourages attachment of the population to the territory and the construction of local identity.

Keywords: mental maps, places of memory, symbolic capital, local identity