Children in public places: some lessons from European cities

Lennard, H. & S.H. Crowhurst Lennard, 1992, Children in public places: some lessons from European cities, in: Childrens Environments Quarterly, 9, 2

  • Author : Lennard, H. & S.H. Crowhurst Lennard
  • Year : 1992
  • Journal/Series : Childrens Environments Quarterly
  • Volume Number (ANNUAL: Counting Volumes of the Year shown above) : 2
  • Volume Number (CONSECUTIVE: Counting all Volumes of this Journal ever published) : 9
  • Pages : 37-47
  • Abstract in English : The environment of many of our cities and towns represents a form of sensory deprivation for children, with little to engage their fantasy, curiosity or affection. Success to all areas of their cities and participation in the public realm is essential to children’s development, socialization, and membership in their community. It is in the public realm that children encounter the other persons that are the cohabitants of their cities. The public realm provides them with important opportunity for learning social skills and competencies. It is here they observe the process of knowing one another and getting to know one another. Only if children encounter and become involved with their fellow citizens do they become socialized into their community as full-fledged members. The “ideal” city for children would require at least some of the following: A network of safe, traffic-reduced, or traffic-free places and streets that allow children to explore their neighborhoods and cities. Periodic access during the day to one or both parents, made possible by bringing living and working places closer together, or providing safe, fast and inexpensive transportation between them. The opportunity to observe other people, of all ages and backgrounds, and adults and children engaged in a variety of work activities and social relationships. Visually interesting characteristics of the built environment that arouse interest (e.g, varied textures, colours, materials, shapes and forms). Exposure to a variety of public events that generate surprise and delight, including street entertainment. Occasions and celebrations that include children and that reinforce a sense of history and interest in their community and its traditions. Contact with nature in all its forms-water, earth, plants, animals, sun, wind, rain and snow-so that children can understand and learn to love nature. Meaningful and aesthetic urban context; easily accessible forms of public art that are mentally stimulating and invite public participation. Social and physical arrangements that promote trust and a sense of justice, such as public places where the presence of unknown adults guarantees protection and safety for children, and where the design of public settings enhances contact among people of different ages and backgrounds. [Modified from Author Article, MEO]
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: children, public places, quality. UTILITY: lecturers/teachers, academic research, students of universities of professional education. from: