Children’s Views on Child-friendly Environments in Different Geographical, Cultural and Social Neighbourhoods

Urban Studies, March 2010; vol. 47, 3: pp. 514-528., first published on November 18, 2009

Maria Nordström

“The aim of this study was to determine how the dimensions in a theoretical framework for environmental child-friendliness developed by Horelli apply to responses about child-friendly environments from 12-year-old children living in geographically, culturally and socially different urban neighbourhoods. Children’s written responses to the question of what they find to be a child-friendly city have been analysed according to these dimensions. The results show that three of the dimensions in particular apply to the children’s responses: ‘safety and security’, ‘urban and environmental qualities’ and ‘basic services’. However, other dimensions of that framework, containing more abstract phenomena, do not seem to apply to these children’s environmental experiences. A child-friendly perspective on cities, with children’s age in mind, seems to involve a local perspective on environment, a result that indicates a need for change in current city planning practice.