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Nurturing the City Through Child’s Play: An investigation into why children’s play in streets should be a forethought in urban design

Part 2 Dissertation 2015
Madeleine Mooney
Manchester School of Architecture | UK
Patterns of childhood have changed dramatically since the Second World War and there is serious concern for the physical and mental well-being of children. Residential streets, once the traditional childhood place for play, no longer resonate to the activities of children. Adult fears of accidents, acts of crime, the lure of computer games, and increasing working hours for carers, has seen the presence of children on the street fading. This dissertation speculates that the loss of the street for play not only impacts the child, but has negative consequences for the creation of sustainable communities. Using research from a range of academic fields, a distinction is drawn between adult designed and designated play areas and those special places so meaningful to children. The study exposes the physical and spatial elements of the environment which afford the best opportunity for play and evaluates current urban policies in relation to children’s needs for play.
Madeleine Mooney

Helen Aston
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