We present a method that identifies the relationships between the physical form of space and people's behaviour based on the meaning they attribute to the space. Our aim is to identify the properties of physical space that support the emergence of strong local communities. In our analysis and subsequent case study we characterize the urban space through the geographic space, cognitive space and social relations. Geographic space is described by physical objects used in architecture and urban design and by their interrelations. Cognitive space is an image of geographic space individually created by people. It reflects their attachment to the place and community. Our approach analyses relations between attributes of geographic space and cognitive space of the community members. The results of our analysis can inform the stakeholders involved in new urban developments or regeneration projects and support their effort to improve community and place attachment.