Child friendly urban design

Indicators for child friendly public spaces

An increasing amount of children are growing up in urban environments. In The Netherlands parents increasingly choose to raise their children in cities. What factors determine the child-friendliness of a neighborhood? In this research project we explore the role of public space in children’s lives at a neighborhood level in a comparative study of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and Jerusalem (Israel).

The urban design of the neighborhood is reviewed through qualitative and quantitative indicators. Three important living domains for children are researched: the greenscapes, playscapes and streets. A graduate group of students of the Eindhoven University of Technology explores the public domain within four different neighborhoods in the city of Eindhoven. We cleaned, organized and analyzed the data. One neighborhood was selected to further investigate. Different workshops with children and parents followed to validate findings and to get more detailed results.

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Findings in Eindhoven concern the importance of outside play, various safety levels, multi-age/ multi-use of space, and inclusive public spaces. The data from Jerusalem – while repeating concerns with safety and the need for outside play revealed in Eindhoven – displays at times extreme settings that to some degree nullify the investigated indicators. The results suggest a further push toward child friendly urban design. The research ends with a list of recommendations how to create more child friendly spaces.

One of the investigated neighborhoods is Woensel-West

An adapted version of the findings, titled ‘Reclaiming Spaces: Family Inclusive Urban Design’, was presented at the AESOP annual academic conference 2017 in Lisbon.

Two publications were realized from this research. See the other one here

Team: Sukanya Krishnamurthy, Chris Steenhuis, Daniek Reijnders, Tamy Stav
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Date: August 2017
Support: Bernard van Leer Foundation