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Built Environment (1978-) (1992)
While public spaces in city centres still provide for the traditional uses for which they were created, today - as the example of the sidewalk cafe shows - their attraction lies more in their ability to generate individual pleasure and play.
Children's Environments (1992)
Our children are the citizens of tomorrow, who will have to safeguard the future of our cities. Yet children are too frequently ignored by architects, devel- opers, city officials and planners. Inattention and brutality in human relationships are internalized and leave their traces in the child's development. The monotony, indifference and placelessness of the physical environment also leaves a lasting impact on the cognitive and emotional development of children (Dubos, 1968).
Built Environment (1999)
The paper begins by reviewing the discourses of sustainable development and children's rights, before mapping-out their significance to play and playgrounds. The paper then draws on fieldwork conducted in two case study communities in Wales to investigate the spatial and social places of play. The paper concludes by questioning the sustainability of playgrounds and by urging reconsideration of the role of playgrounds in the built environment.
Space and Culture (2002)
Through an ethnographic study of a stretch of beach in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana and Ipanema neighborhoods, the author argues that the public space of the city can act as a sort of public sphere where the politics of everyday class and race interaction can be part of larger scale politics, even in a very divided city like Rio de Janeiro. But Rio's beaches only confer a sort of marginal citizenship on their users. They are not the location of discursive democracy idealized by some social theorists, nor are they the egalitarian classless and color-blind spaces mythologized by the Brazilian elite. Rather, they are the site of an unequal, often confrontational politics of class whereby the legitimacy of the social order is challenged, renegotiated, and ultimately reproduced.
Children, Youth and Environments (2006)
This paper is based on a three-year participatory action research (PAR) project conducted with children living and working on the streets of six Turkish metropolitan cities. We first examine how the dominant policy fails to acknowledge street children as actors in public space and review empowering methodology for working with street children. Second, we discuss the PAR methodology and how it facilitates meaningful participation by street children. Third, we consider how the project contributed to the inclusion of street children in public space. Finally, we review the role of PAR in empowering street children.
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2004)
In 2003, for the second year running, the Paris municipality entrusted a young theater designer with the transformation of one stretch of the banks of the Seine River—normally congested with heavy traffic—into an open space evocative of the seaside. Paris in August is therefore Paris by the seaside. The objective of our study is to examine the entire operation, from the moment the political decision was taken by the municipality to the many and varied activities of all those who participated. Through this study, we attempt to highlight the different forms of material and symbolic (re)creation of Paris being undertaken today. We show that in a situation such as this, a reflection on the fieldwork undertaken and the production of ethnographic knowledge is in fact the key factor in the analysis.
Garden History (2007)
Public squares and open spaces for promenade have been a feature of Continental European cities since the Renaissance. In the seventeenth century purely recreational urban spaces began to be created in Britain and Ireland. The development of Dublin's green spaces, however, was delayed until after the Restoration, which saw the city transformed from a medieval walled city into a large, modern conurbation. Some of Dublin's open spaces were completely lost to development; others were embedded into the fabric of the new city. Green spaces were regularized into geometric shapes and used to entice developers and attract smart residents to new areas. The paper examines the development and metamorphosis of Dublin's ancient public spaces, looking at the activities that took place on these sites and their evolution from utilitarian areas of commonage to fashionable squares for promenade
American Sociological Review (1971)
The existing literature on the social, personal, and health consequences of high density housing is unclear regarding the significance that can be attached to the physical features of housing. The present study, which is based on interview information collected in Hong Kong, is able to control for deprivations and stresses related to "poor housing," and it is also able to distinguish superficial from more severe measures of personal strain. High densities are seen to have very little effect on individuals and families, although there is a suggestion that congestion is a potentially significant stress.
Children, Youth and Environments (2006)
Results from an inner-city teen focus group on parks and urban green space in Los Angeles, California and responses to parallel questions posed to adults from the same area show striking differences. While adults focused on activities and cited a need for additional recreation-oriented parks for teens, teenagers themselves focused on greened spaces suitable for socializing and relaxing. Teens were also keenly interested in local parks, aware of maintenance issues, and concerned about personal safety.
Journal of Urban Design (2015)
This paper presents findings from a research project aimed at understanding children’s perceptions of play spaces, with an emphasis on safety and fun. Six places that were considered by the respondents of the first-stage research as having both attributes of safety and fun were observed. The findings show that these spaces are generally separated from motor vehicles and the child and adult users of these spaces show socially acceptable behaviours and a positive response toward children’s outdoor play. Nevertheless, the findings also point out the significant differences in the characteristics of the safe and fun play spaces in Tokyo, Japan, and Bandung, Indonesia, in terms of their user behaviour, space availability, play affordances and availability of natural elements.
Journal of Urban Design (2016)
Urban public open spaces are an important part of the urban environment, creating the framework for public life. The transformation of open space into successful public places is crucial in this regard. In the context of target-driven performance it is essential to identify the value of successful public open places, along with characteristics that define them. This research evaluated three case studies in Belgium (Namur, Wavre and La Louviere) which successfully transformed spaces into lively public open places. The transformation was captured by means of before-and-after imagery and analyses, and evaluated in terms of space-usage prior to, and after redesign, along with the experience and added value that the redesign brought to the area.
Children, Youth and Environments (2008)
In a research project carried out in various neighborhoods in Stockholm, Sweden, we have developed a method for facilitating children’s influence on spatial planning. Our goal was to construct a vehicle for communication that could work in practice for both children and teachers as well as for planners. The method uses computerized GIS maps—a common tool in spatial planning. With little assistance, 10- to 12-year-old children map their routes and special places, mark activities and write comments. Teachers can also map routes and places used for education. The results have proved reliable and accessible by planners. Use of the mapping method within the school curriculum and in the planning process is broadly discussed in the paper.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2001)
This study investigated influences of residential street layout on neighboring. The study design was quasi-experimental with one pretest and two posttest measurements in an intervention group and two control groups. Data were collected using a recently developed questionnaire (MMN) and through field observations. The intervention implemented in this study was a transformation of three sections of residential streets into street parks, entailing considerable changes in street floor and spatial layout, provisions of street furniture like benches, planting of trees and flower beds, installation of play equipment, and prohibition of traffic and parked vehicles. Supportive acts of neighboring, neighbor annoyance, and children's play showed an overall increase in the intervention streets, interpreted as a sign of increased involvement in the neighborhood. Weak social ties and neighborhood attachment showed more complex patterns of changes, depending on demographic factors. It is suggested that symbolic effects of the changes may be more significant than functional effects, and thus that a change of neighborhood identity is an important mechanism.
Health & Place (2016)
Studies of seasonal barriers for outdoor activities seldom view families’ play practices as grounded in the everyday experience of the natural elements. This paper brings 20 families’ mundane outdoor play ex- periences in Auckland's temperate climate to the fore. Through drawings and interviews, families re- siding in both suburban detached houses and central city apartments revealed locally constituted beliefs about appropriate play spaces (e.g. garden, park). While the majority of participants retreated to indoor activities during winter, some children and their parents viewed the outdoors as the only opportunity for ‘real fun’. We advocate the importance of a better understanding of children's seasonal outdoor play. In particular, we argue that in order to promote year-round healthy levels of outdoor activities it is ne- cessary to understand variations in societal, neighbourhood and family values attributed to outdoor activities. Further, to develop a more nuanced understanding of the locational complexities of outdoor play it is important to understand the meanings of, and practices associated with, seasonal and weather conditions in different international locations.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (1987)
Uses and perceptions of nine nearby, easily-accessible outdoor areas were studied by interviewing 89 residents of a multiple-family housing development. Judgments of perceived sizes, size adequacy, use frequencies, preferences, and perceived importance were elicited, along with descriptions of personal uses. The findings reveal consistent differences between three general types of areas which serve distinct functions. The yards serve territorial needs, the common areas and public athletic fields afford recreational opportunities, and a nearby wooded area with a pond provides a highly preferred setting for a variety of nature-related pursuits. Although most ratings varied across the different types, ratings of perceived importance were high for each. The findings of this study clarify the relationships among physical size, use patterns and preferences for different areas. They also illustrate the diverse affordances of different urban nature areas, and emphasize the important role that nature contacts play in the everyday lives of urban residents.
This study examines a behavioral model using latent variables of leisure involvement, place attachment, and destination loyalty among recreationists walking their dog in urban parks. A total of 928 usable questionnaires were collected. The confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were analyzed using LISREL 8.70 for Windows. Empirical results indicate that leisure involvement (i.e., attraction and self expression) and place attachment (i.e., place identity and place dependence) accurately predict the destination loyalty of recreationists walking their dogs in urban parks. Findings of this study demonstrate that the proposed behavioral model is a highly effective means of examining the causal relationships among leisure involvement, place attachment, and destination loyalty. A series of managerial implications and recommendations for further studies are drawn.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2012)
This study strives to determine ways to increase the use of outdoor spaces, particularly spaces that have an abundance of natural elements, in environmentally friendly housing developments. Empirical data were obtained by observing residents' behaviors (445 observations) and interviewing 61 residents in Kuemhwa Greenvill, a new housing project in Giheung Sanggal, South Korea. The outdoor natural environments were classified into four categories: reserved natural environment, built environment with a natural appearance, built environment as a green buffer, and built environment with natural elements. The survey revealed that, typically, the natural environments were utilized less than the non-natural environments. Because natural environments did not support various outdoor activities, only persons in certain limited age groups (adults and adults with children) and small groups of one or two people used them. In particular, children's play activities and social gatherings rarely occurred in the natural environments. Apart from physical, psychological, and social accessibility issues, the residents' preferences for the use of non-natural environments were related to their needs and the physical features of the environments.
Environment and Behavior (1997)
This study examines how the availability of nature influences the use of outdoor public spaces in two Chicago public housing developments. Ninety-six observations were collected of the presence and location of trees and the presence and location of youth and adults in semiprivate spaces at one high-rise and one low-rise public housing development. Results consistently indicated that natural landscaping encourages greater use of outdoor areas by residents. Spaces with trees attracted larger groups of people, as well as more mixed groups of youth and adults, than did spaces devoid of nature. In addition, more dense groupings of trees and trees that are located close to public housing buildings attracted larger groups of people. These findings suggest that natural elements such as trees promote increased opportunities for social interactions, monitoring of outdoor areas, and supervision of children in impoverished urban neighborhoods.
Children, Youth and Environments (2004)
In this paper I present childhood biographies of three people who grew up in or near a public housing development located on the border between the contrasting communities of Yorkville and East Harlem in New York City. Stories of their middle childhood (ages 11-13) poignantly capture the social and spatial evolution of play and recreation in New York City from the 1930s until present time. Based on in-depth childhood autobiographies and archival materials from the New York Times, I demonstrate changes in children’s access to play and recreation space, how children negotiate their lived experiences in these spaces, and how these spaces reflect differing representations of childhood over time. While play and recreation are, of course, a broad range of activities that occur in multiple settings and under various forms of supervision, the focus of this paper is upon the role of the streets, public parks and playgrounds in children’s everyday lives. Preliminary results suggest that children’s access to public play spaces in New York City has declined over time. This decline can be attributed to public disinvestment in neighborhood parks and playgrounds, perceived (and real) violence in these spaces, and more recently, to the commercialization and privatization of playtime activities.
The Geographical Journal (1995)
Few studies have explicitly examined the importance of cultural settings to children's environmental awareness, especially in a non-Western context. In this paper, the author reviews those studies which have drawn attention to how culture affects children's behaviour in large-scale environments and refers to an empirical study of a group of young Kenyan children which examines the relationship between environmental experience and environmental awareness. The findings are interesting for three principal reasons. First, they demonstrate that children who are without formal training and with limited access to maps are able to draw relatively sophisticated place representations and to recall their local environment in vivid terms. Secondly, these maps and place descriptions are different to those of their age-sex-counterparts from Britain, which suggests that culture influences expressive style if not cognitive ability. Thirdly, they suggest that further studies, set within other cross-cultural contexts, are needed, if the importance of culture to environmental capability is to be understood. The author argues that although geographers are well-placed to carry out this kind of investigation little geographical research on children's place relationships has been undertaken. In this sense, geographers are particularly remiss and are guilty of forgetting their 'roots.'