Children and urbanism

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Increasing children’s involvement in urban issues can lead to more sustainable and just cities. Their experiences often touch the most problematic issues of contemporary urban contexts.

General introduction

How can we create more just and sustainable cities from the children’s point of view? How can we produce knowledge on our cities in collaboration with children? How can we as scholars, urban planners or activists overcome our adultcentrism? What is the pandemic teaching us about justice and sustainability from the children’s point of view?

Main insights on/for sustainable just cities

Creating just and sustainable cities with children: database of initiatives

[Describe how the project/initiative addresses (urban) (un)sustainability and/or (in)justice directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly. Max. 500 words.]

Co-creating knowledge and practices with children

[In this section, we are collecting initiatives that principally aim to understand children's vision of their urban contexts and their everyday practices, create knowledge together with them and/or raise awareness on their needs and ideas.]

Community-based initiatives

  • Albayzín, patrimonio humano (Albayzín, human heritage) is a long term ethnographic research and collective learning together with children, families, volunteers and teachers in an elementary school of Granada, Spain, going on since 2018. The starting point of the research was questioning the notion of ‘heritage’ in a neighbourhood affected by gentrification and touristification. The experiences of those who habit and transit the neighbourhood - including the children - have been at the core of the process that works with multimodal methods, including audiovisual ethnography, storytelling, collective mapping, playing and other autoethnographic and peer-ethnographic practices.
  • Fare rione, fare scuola (Making neighbourhood, making school) The project was realised by Orangotango in 2018 as part of the HKW’s Schools of Tomorrow program. How can students benefit from local communities? How can schools make use of the students’ extra-curricular knowledge? And how can schools contribute to their neighbourhoods? In Barra, on the outskirts of Naples, the students explored how schools can become sites for social living and the exchange of diverse forms of knowledge, realizing their ideas using artistic means: in mappings, wall pictures, or audiovisual works, they uncovered the knowledge hidden in their neighbourhood.

Research-focused projects

  • CriCity. Children and their right to the city Tackling urban inequity through the participatory design of child-friendly cities. This project investigates children’s relationships with urban public places in the two major Portuguese cities (Lisbon and Porto). They use an ethnographic, child-centred and participatory approach, considering children as ‘experts’ in this process. Children’s perspectives are then transposed into urban planning through a bottom-up participatory methodology, involving the local community and decision-makers, in order to design proposals for a child friendly-city.

Interventions in the public space

[In this section, we gather initiatives that transform (public) space together with children through a co-creation process.]

Community-initiated interventions

Municipal projects

Projects in educational and other institutional contexts (for example schoolyards)

Suggested key readings & links

[Suggest top 1-5 key readings and/or websites from the project/initiative that are most relevant for sustainable just cities]

Link to other Wiki-pages

[Add links to other possible Wiki-pages (approaches, projects/initiatives, users)]

Further reading

Links to projects