Mapping play: reclaiming children’s domain in cities

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Following the trend of global urbanisation cities today are growing in attraction for families with children. Thereby, urban environments are becoming principal contexts wherein children live, play, learn, etc. and the necessity to provide flourishing conditions for new generations of children is essential. This paper outlines the spatial transformation of cities from the point of view of children by focusing on how and where children play in urban environments. Through observations, surveys, workshops and interviews in the city of Eindhoven (NL) and Jerusalem (IL) we discuss variants, commonalities and concerns of play in city areas. Interestingly the data from Eindhoven indicates that though there is a growing awareness of the planning process progressively contributing towards the inclusion of changing urban lifestyles and designing for all ages, concerns on segregation and privatization determine use and consumption. Jerusalem on the other hand, with (extreme) divergences in living environments, play is determined by concerns of safety and opportunity. Through comparative learnings, we discuss the current status of family and child-directed consumption spaces in city areas, and to point out the wider significance of spatial transformation of the city’s public spaces needed to accommodate various demographics. The paper also highlights that making the presence of children more visible in both planning process and urban areas address an urgent need.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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