Child-Friendly Environments—What, How and by Whom?

Märit Jansson, Emma Herbert, Alva Zalar, Maria Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The socio-physical qualities of built environments are, in several ways, of imperative importance for children growing up. The Child-Friendly Cities initiative by UNICEF, an implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, has made local governments strive toward child-friendliness. The participation of children and young people is often the focus of such projects, with a potential for a far broader scope. Besides participation processes, what important socio-physical qualities make environments child-friendly, and how can they be developed? This paper presents a structured literature review of the concept of child-friendly environments, in order to address the full socio-physical spectrum. The results focus on concrete factors that have been filtered through child-friendliness and the associated frameworks, showing an inherent dependence between the social context and the physical environment. The shaping of child-friendliness hinges on the realization of environments that are safe, fair, and with accessible and variable green and open spaces. A multi-stakeholder endeavor including, e.g., planners, designers, and managers requires clearly outlined priorities. This study lays the groundwork for further exploration of how the concept of child-friendly environments can lead to positive changes, also as part of the overall strive toward sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14(8)
Number of pages26
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 18

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Landscape Architecture
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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