Hamburger Menu Button
Link to Search Page
Collapse Expand Button
September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
Intensification efforts to respond to growing population in urban centres combined with the commodification of land have impacted the size, quality, and quantity of children’s spaces to live, play, walk, and cycle.
The complexity of social and spatial dynamics experienced in public open spaces is not only beneficial for children’s health and well-being, but it is also crucial for their growth and development. The decline of outdoor play has been associated with both social and design factors. Research shows that children’s ability to freely explore their environment is mostly impacted by parents’ sense of safety and their perceptions on the built environment. High-level strategies to accommodate the needs of families with children in high-density neighbourhoods have been largely explored both by literature and government institutions, but qualitative research on health-promoting urban design for children remains a missing piece.
Can downtown Toronto expand its playground boundaries and become a place for children to safely explore the urban environment with freedom and joy?
This session contributes to the body of knowledge on children-friendly cities by adding a nuance to the discussion of the role of urban planning and design in creating opportunities for children’s active play and independent mobility in high-density communities. We will explore challenges to children’s appropriation of public open spaces in downtown Toronto and look for opportunities to overcome it through planning and urban design. Focus is given to children’s environmental needs to grow, parent’s perspectives on the built environment, and downtown Toronto’s current policy framework.