As is often mentioned in discussions about urbanism and youth, a city that is safe and accessible for a child is one that is likely to be safe and accessible for elderly and other groups.
Children’s experience of cities is a rich area of research combining themes of health, safety, placemaking, access to play environments and more. Children’s access to safe routes to school and ability to cycle and walk around the community is an important dimension of walkability research.
The concept of “play streets” is not new but experienced a rise of interest in 2020 with pandemic restrictions leading to more temporary initiations of “Spielstrasse” in a number of German cities.
Likewise, “school streets” (where traffic is restricted for select hours to allow children and families safer passage to school) have also increased in quantity and visibility in various European cities.
An interest in children’s safety, well-being and development with regards to urbanism and general environment is at the heart of our research in both a professional and personal sense. We will examine and focus on these issues more in depth through the lens of pedestrian and street themes while also having a holistic perspective on the overall environment and planning for children and caregivers in mind.