Child-Friendly by Design or by Accident?: Lessons from the Illawarra
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The paper outlines the action research approach underlying the Child-Friendly by Design (CFbD) Project, conducted by Healthy Cities Illawarra (HCI), in conjunction with Griffith University's Urban Research Program (URP). CFbD aims to address the needs of young children and their families to give children the best possible start in life. Based partially on UNICEF's Child Friendly Cities strategies, the CFbD Project has involved children, young people and families in the design and redesign of spaces and places in Shellharbour, NSW. The CFbD Project has built on the work developed by the URP, in conjunction with the NSW Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) where child friendly indicators have been trialled by invited Councils and the CFbD Project, coordinated by the CCYP. Many conventional participatory design processes do little to give children and young people a 'voice' on what is important about the places and spaces that surround them. The CFbD Project has encouraged children and families to become involved in the planning and design process, as well as providing opportunities with council, developers and designers for this to occur. Part of this process has involved asking members of the Shellharbour community - children, families, business people, developers - what they think a 'child friendly' space looks like. This information has been used to formulate the CFbD Child Friendly strategy and operating process, including fully designed child-friendly concept plans for a greenfield and brownfield site, significant changes within Council planning policies, incorporation of CFbD principles by planners and architects and a widely distributed Resource Toolkit. All these resources have been produced to help continue making Shellharbour more child and family friendly and the evaluation of their educational effectiveness is assessed in this paper.
Proceedings from the 2nd International Conference on Design Education
Social and Cultural Geography