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Designing child friendly cities

Designing child friendly cities

''Every child has the right to play''

Play is a right that all children are entitled to, written and upheld by the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child. In a built up city like London lots of space is given to cars and houses, increasingly in Tower Hamlets new buildings and traffic prevent children from roaming to places they could stay and play, like an Adventure Playground.

PATH believes Adventure Playgrounds are great places for children to play, we would like children to be able to play outside close to home supported by the communities they live in and to have access to quality green open spaces.

But play isn't just about playing in spaces that are designed for childen, what if cities and neighbourhoods were designed with children's play at the heart of the project? We all spend too much time inside, children may play games on a screen but are missing out on playing outside, with other children. Humans are social creatures and one of the most social behaviours to engage in is play.

Architects and designers Arup have written a report, Designing for urban childhoods, that says 'the everyday freedoms of time spent playing outdoors, children's abiility to get around independently and their level of contact with nature are strong indicators of how a city is performing.'' The report which you can read here, sets out 14 ways to design child friendly cities.

Read about interesting projects around the world from a new approach to cars in Bogata, the capital of Columbia to more outdoor water play in Kentucky, USA. With National Playday coming up on August 1st PATH would like to work with others to change public space for a day of outdoor play.