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40 Children 6-12 years of age from a poor neighborhood were asked to draw their favorite play environments and were interviewed individually afterward. The drawings were analyzed by Child Psychologists. Then field studies were conducted in “Farahzad” neighborhood in Tehran as a case study to explore the places with higher attraction for children play. The results showed that children preferred more challenging places, flexible spaces, locations with the chance of finding new friends. They preferred natural elements in their play settings. Alleys, impasses, parks, playgrounds, and surfaces with Gentle slope were among their favorite places.
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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 ( 2015 ) 19 – 29
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
ScienceDirect
1877-0428 © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for
Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.114
Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, AcE-Bs2015, 20-22 February 2015,
Tehran, Iran
Identification of Child-Friendly Environments in Poor
Neighborhoods
Sharareh Ghanbari-Azarneir
*
, Sara Anbari, Seyed-Bagher Hosseini, Seyed-Abbas
Yazdanfar
School of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
Abstract
40 Children 6-12 years of age from a poor neighborhood were asked to draw their favorite play environments and were
interviewed individually afterward. The drawings were analyzed by Child Psychologists. Then field studies were conducted in
“Farahzad” neighborhood in Tehran as a case study to explore the places with higher attraction for children play. The results
showed that children preferred more challenging places, flexible spaces, locations with the chance of finding new friends. They
preferred natural elements in their play settings. Alleys, impasses, parks, playgrounds, and surfaces with Gentle slope were
among their favorite places.
© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre
for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
Keywords: Children; environmental preferences; poor neighborhood; play environment
1. Introduction
Technology has affected all aspects of life today, and children are not excluded. Activities in the modern era are
usually based on technology and are distancing more and more from nature (Pergams & Zaradic, 2008). Modern
society is moving away from nature-based recreation to activities mainly based on technology. Nowadays children’s
play is being restricted to their rooms or even computers, tablets, cell phones, video games, and screen time. They
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +989126113796; fax: +0-000-000-0000 .
E-mail address: sharareh_ghanbari@cmps2.iust.ac.ir.
© 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre
for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
20 Sharareh Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 ( 2015 ) 19 – 29
have not used outdoor spaces like before. Being away from nature could cause many and psychological and physical
problems like obesity that is one of the main physical problems in children (Ozdemir & Yilmaz, 2008). Hence
providing outdoor and indoor places with higher quality could lead in encouraging them to try other types of play
(Evans, 2004 cited by Castonguay & Jutras, 2009). On the other hand, children in an impoverished neighborhood use
outdoor spaces and nature more in comparison to their wealthier counterparts because they usually do not have
access to these technologies and their ilk. Also, their parents ask them to play outside; this might be due to the little
area and high population of their houses (Dewi, 2012). They usually spend their free time on the alleys and streets
not designed for children play. This fact will cause more problems such as lack of security, preventing the growth
and development of children’s talents and increasing crime rates. In these children’s life, the outdoor places play the
integral role in their growth and development (Abdul Aziz & Ahmad, 2012). There is not much access to qualified
places for them because of deterioration, degradation or disappearing of the former places to play in deprived
neighborhoods (Gaster, 1991 cited by Castonguay & Jutras, 2009; Wridt, 2004). The urban spaces in which children
are involved are not aligned with the dimensions of child development. Unfortunately, in many cases, neighborhoods
especially in metropolises, lack the green space for children play. Therefore, this study looked for a solution to make
the children play areas more affording and more compatible with children needs and desires. For this purpose in the
first level, it needs to be cognizant of children preferences about their play spaces.
Child psychologists’ findings suggest that human intellectual development is not a coincidence, but also is to
coordinate with other aspects of human development. Environmental interaction in early childhood is needed for
growth of physical and cognitive abilities. Designing spaces for children in residential areas and neighborhoods that
fit the physical and psychological needs of children must be considered. To have a neighborhood with high quality to
meet the child's needs, it is important to find their perceiving of appropriate places especially outdoor ones
(Castonguay & Jutras, 2009). This study aims to recognize the physical space elements in poor neighborhoods as
important factors in creating child-friendly environments. Recognition of physical factors affecting the psyche of
children, leading to their presence in local areas and neighborhoods, has been the objective of this study. The
statistical population is the children of poor families attending Supporting institutions and charities. Childhood has
three smaller periods: early childhood (from birth to about two years), middle childhood (from two years to six
years) and the final childhood (from six years to eleven and twelve years). 20 girls and 20 boys at the age of 6-12
(middle childhood), were selected for this study. Because Chawla’s study revealed that the main affected children
are at the age of 6 to 12 when they are most interested in their neighborhood (Chawla, 1992 cited by Castonguay &
Jutras, 2009). Then they were asked to draw the places they like the most at homes, schools, parks and even in
alleys. Then they were asked to explain it to the research group. After collecting the drawings and explanation of
children, they are sent to experts, and their ideas about the paintings were received.
According to the expert analysis, classification, and interpretation, environmental factors were identified, and the
design guidelines were proposed to alleviate the problems. Then the field study in “Farahzad” neighborhood was
done. The research group went to the area and tried to find the places with higher potential for children play. The
findings showed that children preferred the more challenging places, flexible spaces and changeable by the children,
locations with the chance of finding new friends and they preferred natural elements in their play settings.
2. Literature review
2.1. Children preferences of place
Children choose their favorite places by their activities affordance and not by their aesthetic design (said, 2005.
Cited by Othman & said, 2012). Children value the functional properties of the place where they play (Othman and
said, 2012). It is somehow opposite to what people usually think about the children. Children like the objects or
places that they feel belonging to, also in some cases, they show interest in their friends’ belongings. Besides,
children show a tendency to choose where they had a good memory of as their favorite places (Sahimi and said,
2011). As mentioned (Zhang and Li, 2010) safety, amenity, accessibility, sociability, and attractiveness are
fundamental characteristics of an environment that should be considered in designing child environment. Hence, the
attractiveness is not just the appearance of an environment. On the subject of places that children like, there are
different studies with somehow similar results. According to former studies, before 2000’s natural setting were
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among the most valued places where children preferred (Chawla, 1992). A more recent study presented by Elsey
shows a diminution in that along with the degradation of these areas (Elsley, 2004). But still most of the studies
conducted in the last two decades found the playgrounds and sport setting among the most likable spaces (Min &
Lee, 2006) (Korpela et al., 2002; Min & Lee, 2006; Tandy, 1999 cited by Castonguay and Jutras, 2009). The cul-de-
sacs are another type of places that have affordances for children plays. It is said that cul -de-sacs that have a slight
slope and different kinds of plants and flowers that are more preferred by children (Othman and said, 2012). When it
comes to particular types of place, Children choose smooth surfaces for plays like cycling, running, hopscotch,
playing football and, etc. For coasting down and skateboarding, they prefer areas with a soft slope. They also like
shelters for playing hide and seek (Kytta, 2002).
But what are the unique characteristics that make a placed child-friendly? Children prefer the places where they
can do additional activities besides the available play setting (Korpela et al., 2002 cited by Castonguay & Jutras,
2009; Min & Lee, 2006). Another significant factor for children is the possibility to find new friends (Korpela et al.,
2002 cited by Castonguay & Jutras, 2009; Min & Lee, 2006). Moore (1986) claimed that the Diversity of
environmental resources and access to play and exploration are two criteria for child-friendly areas (Moore, 1986).
Another study conducted by Aziz and Said in 2011 shows that children found the yards and the other places around
their home as places with the most positive features for playing (Aziz & Said,2011). Also, children prefer locations
in neighborhoods where they have more mobility licenses (kytta, 2004). Maybe it is the reason most of the children
prefer the places near their homes (Min & Lee, 2006). Besides the outdoor environment, Indoor environments also
play a principal role in child plays. Space definition, privacy, physical aspects, and furniture arrangement in
playrooms are among the factors that affect child’s behaviors. For example in spatially defined areas, children play
more cooperative games (Abbas and Othman, 2010). It is also related to wall color and ceiling height (Read, et al.
(1999), cited by Abbas and Othman, 2010).
2.2. Preferred places in a poor neighborhood
The use of the urban environment when it comes to poor children is somehow different from other wealthier
children. The poor community environment has lower quality, less safety and fewer natural elements (Evans, 2004).
The lower social class cause more privation of designed play spaces at home for children (Newson & Newson,
1976). Also, the children of poor families do not participate in the organized play as much as children in advantaged
areas and because of the small area of their homes their parents usually prefer their children to play outdoors. Thus,
the more unfortunate children prefer to play out of their homes (Valentine & McKendrick, 1997 cited by
Castonguay & Jutras, 2009) (Elsley, 2004). In Castonguay & Jutras study, based on the photos taken by children in a
poor neighborhood in Montreal, children preferred the parks and playgrounds as their first choice. After that the
retail places- like outdoor spaces of a school or other communities -were among their choices. Some of them
preferred the places like balconies or yards of their homes (Castonguay & Jutras, 2009). Only two recent studies
claimed that streets and alleys are among children preferred sites. It is exactly inverse in other recent studies
(Chawla & Malone, 2003; O’Brien, 2003; Pain, 2006 cited by Castonguay & Jutras, 2009). The common feature of
those two studies is that they both were conducted in deprived neighborhoods (Castonguay & Jutras, 2009) (Elsley,
2004). It could be explained by two reasons: first, Children from poor families prefer to play in environments close
to their homes -like home yards and near a relative’s home (Fadzila Aziz and Said, 2011). And for poor children,
streets and alleys could be the only choice near their homes. Second, Castonguay and Jutras have mentioned that the
liked and disliked features usually coexist in the same place in a poor neighborhood (Castonguay & Jutras, 2009). It
could partially explain the conflict between the mentioned studies.
This study with a focus on poor neighborhoods has asked the children to draw their preferred places. Then it has
tried to find the features that make a favorable place. After that a field study has been done in Farahzad- a poor
neighborhood in Tehran- to find the places with high potential for children’s plays.
22 Sharareh Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 ( 2015 ) 19 – 29
2.3. Play
There are three kinds of plays,” functional, constructive and symbolic” (Othman and said, 2012). In (Castonguay
and Jutras, 2009) study, they classified plays into five types of play:
x Play with rules
x Informal motor and creative play
x play with fixed equipment
x unspecified play
x Play with locomotion equipment
In middle childhood, children prefer Formal play and sports settings (Korpela et al., 2002 cited by Castonguay &
Jutras, 2009; Min & Lee, 2006). According to Castonguay & Jutras games, with rules were among the activities
children do the most in their favorite places. According to Oncu and Unluer, children’s creativity has arisen just
when they have plenty of time. Also, they cannot play very creative unless they play with “unstructured materials”
(Oncu and Unluer, 2010).
2.4. Landscape
On the subject of child’s preferences, the places where there are landscape elements manipulated by human - like
“Pruning trees in the shape of animals” or a lake with fountains- are more likable than the untouched nature
(Mahidin and Maulan, 2012). But what are the effects of nature on child plays? The more vegetation found in
children play spaces, the more creative their play is (Faber Taylor, Wiley, Kuo, & Sullivan, 1998 cited by
Castonguay & Jutras, 2009). Also, when there are nature nearby children, they can better handle their stresses
(Corraliza et al., 2011). In a study carried out by Collado and Corraliza, abetter self-discipline (Taylor et al., 2002
cited by Castonguay & Jutras, 2009). According to Flouri et al., in poor neighborhoods, children are more affected
by green space. When there is more vegetation around them, they had fewer emotional problems (Flouri et al.,
2014). Landscape if designed correctly and in accordance with the children preferences could play an integral part.
2.5. Nuances in sex and age in children preferences
There is no distinctive difference between boys and girls. But boys found more affordance in the places of the
neighborhood (kytta, 2002). Also, it is seen that boys have more freedom to play outdoors, and girls usually play in
home yards (Aziz and Said, 2011). In another study conducted by Sobkin and Skobeltsina, it is derived that girls
often prefer the board games. So girls usually choose their home for playing but boys are more interested in video
games and construction plays. However, in general, the interest for outdoor play is reduced in both genders (Sobkin
and Skobeltsina, 2014). It is worth mentioning that the boys’ behavior are more affected by games, and they often
show more hostile reactions while playing. This fact could have a significant impact on the formation of their future
actions (Derri et al., 2014).
According to many studies, there is no remarkable variation between children of different ages d uring middle
childhood (Korpela et al., 2002, Malinowski & Thurber, 1996, Schiavo, 1988 cited by Castonguay & Jutras, 2009).
However, there are also studies that found some differences (Min & Lee, 2006). To illustrate, according to
(Castonguay & Jutras, 2009) older children (10-12) prefer parks and playgrounds, but younger ones prefer places
near their home or an acquaintance’s home. The reason could be the proximity or familiarity (Harden, 2000 and
Morrow, 2001 cited by Castonguay and Jutras, 2009). Hart and Moore suggested that place preferences changed
during childhood. In the first phase, it is a “social/interpersonal orientation “and in the second phase it develops into
a “land use orientation” and in the third phase, when they are adolescences, it shifts to an “aesthetic/cognitive
orientation” (Hart, 1979; Hart & Moore, 1973). It could be another justification for the interest of younger children
to places around an acquaintance’s home.
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3. Methods
3.1. Site study
This study was conducted in Farahzad neighborhood in Tehran, Iran. Farahzad is a region in western north of
Tehran. Because of the increase rate of migration to Tehran in the past decades most of the residents of this area are
people from different ethnics and nationalities. The population of Farahzad is about 30000 a high percentage of
population in this neighborhood are children under ten years old (about 43.3% percent).
Fig. 1. Farahzad map.
Source: www.tehran.ir, (available on 6/23/2015)
3.2. Subjects
This study focused on children in these neighborhoods aged between 6 and 12-years old. By cluster sampling a
charitable institute named “science house” were selected randomly from four existing primary schools and
charitable institutes in the neighborhood. Then forty children were selected randomly among children attending
Farahzad “science house”.
3.3. Method
Painting and photography are among the most common ways to make children participate in participatory
activities. In this case study since the poor neighborhood may not include the ideal characteristic of children
preferred places, the painting would be more efficient than taking photos of their poor environment. Children were
asked to draw whatever they like about their play environment and whatever or whoever they want to have with
themselves while playing there. Individual interviews were also done by researchers to complete the data. In the
next step, by using Delphi method the paintings were sent to five child psychologists, and their ideas about the
drawings were received. The subjects of the study are selected from three groups of psychologists: Clinical,
counseling, and school psychologists, Industrial/organizational and community psychologists and academic
psychologists. Then five persons were selected randomly from the first and third groups. Besides, a field study was
conducted to find the places in neighborhoods that have the potential for children playing. The results are shown in
Fig. 2.
24 Sharareh Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 ( 2015 ) 19 – 29
Fig. 2. Map of the area, presenting the children play activities in the neighborhood.
4. Results and discussion
Prior to sending the paintings and interviews texts to psychologists to be analyzed, the elements found in the
paintings along with the individual interviews were categorized into six subcategories (see Table 1).The priority in
child-friendly spaces to play was the playgrounds and in the paintings, it could be considered that these places and
the natural elements like trees, flowers, and their ilk are inseparable. The trees and flowers were found in all
paintings. In some cases, the water is also found. In Farahzad neighborhood, all the alleys have a raceway in the
middle. (Fig. 3) Also, a Dragon is found in some paintings; in field research, the park (Jurassic Park) with the
similar elements was found. These clues showed that children like places with which they are familiar. As the
second choice, the houses were the most repeated objects in the paintings. When the children were asked about it,
they said sentences like “This is my home", “This is where I like to be”,” It is a dream house” and “It is my
friends home”.
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Table 1. Subcategories found in paintings and interviews.
Subcategories
Paintings
Frequency
Interviews
Parks & playgrounds
sports field
18
Golpad Park
playground settings
33
flowers and trees
35
Houses
Yards
13
children home
exterior of the house
30
acquaintance’s home
Streets and alleys
Cars
5
slop surfaces
flat surfaces
People
Playmate
39
friends
family members
Toys and play things
Marbles
2
video game
Balls
10
playing cards
Bicycles
3
bricks
Dolls
3
tires
Animals
Butterfly
5
Horse
1
Birds
4
Fish
3
Public places
Parking
1
Baharan bridge
Fig. 3. (a) The raceway in the middle of alleys; (b) The river in the paintings represents familiarity with neighborhood.
26 Sharareh Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 ( 2015 ) 19 – 29
For children in a poor neighborhood, safety is the most important factor. Hence, children prefer places near their
homes or close to a friend’s home. In the field, the study carried out in the neighborhood, the alleys and cul-de-sacs
in which two or more doors open, were preferred for plays. One of the boys showed an alley in which they usually
play football (Fig.4). He said one of their friends home was in that alley. Meanwhile, the children did not like to
play under the direct control of their parents, they preferred to play in a safe place. Something very interesting is that
without any exception, all children draw at least one playmate. “I like the roof to be high enough that my parents
also can be there,” one boy said when he was asked about his preferred location. The other children preferred to play
with their friends. Even they wrote their friends’ names on the paintings. Most of these 40 children had troubled
families, one of the psychologists believed that is why they imagined being with them while playing in a perfect
condition.
Fig. 4. (a) Children playing football between two houses; (b) “the alley we play soccer near Ahmad house.”
Fig. 5. (a) Playing with friends, diversity, nature, playground, playing near home; (b) The dragon similar to the elements of “Jurassic Park” in the
neighborhood.
About the physical characteristic of a child-friendly place, the first thing that all the children agreed about was the
floor material. They complained about the stiffness of playground floor that injured them while playing. There were
few children mostly the girls who preferred to play inside the house and in indoor places. Most of the girls at the age
of 6 to 10 prefer to play with their friends and their dolls inside their home or in a friend's home. The girls between
10 and 12 were not so eager to play; they had more responsibility at home. But boys preferred to play outside. They
mentioned a bridge called Baharan as a place to play after school and in the evenings. “We always gather there for
playing football and volleyball," the 10-year-old boy said. The alleys in Farahzad have stairs. Children did not like
the stairs because it restricted their play. But in field research, some children were found playing cards while sitting
on stairs. According to the interviews and the factors identified in children's paintings; the space physics should
have the least harm to children. As all the participated psychologists believed, the use of lively colors in most of the
paintings showed that children preferred their play spaces to be colorful. Even five of these children who were all
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Sharareh Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 ( 2015 ) 19 – 29
girls preferred to paint their play space by themselves. Another point to mention is that except one, all of the
paintings represented daylight that was another clue that showed they needed the safety.
According to the opinions and comments of psychologists participating in the study, Child-friendly environment
characteristics were shown in Fig. 6. Accessibility was the first factor. Children like to play near their homes or their
friends’ home. Multiple doors in the paintings indicated this factor. The presence of parents in the paintings and the
children statements about the places in neighborhoods where they play indicated that they like to play where there is
indirect control of them. As it was mentioned before, safety is critical to poor children but it does not mean that they
do not like risks. Many children declared that they liked scary places and exciting plays. One of the children said
that he liked hiding places. Diversity is evident in all the paintings. Using different colors for their paintings was one
of the signs. Children like to play in groups or at least with a friend. “I do not hesitate to go to a place where I can
find a new," a girl said excitedly. Children like the places in where they can socialize. When the children were asked
whether they like to design their play room, 52% of the children were enthusiastic about it. With no exception, all of
the paintings include natural elements like trees, flowers and also animals. Three girls and a boy said that they liked
planting grains. Most of the children claimed that they always play with animals in the neighborhood. In the study
carried out in the area, this was proofed.
Fig. 6. Characteristics of child-friendly environments.
5. Conclusion
Many results of this research confirmed the former studies about child-friendly places, but this study extended the
results from recent studies about children preferences in poor neighborhoods. Also, most of the previous studies
have focused on identifying child-friendly environments. But more efforts should have been done to find out the
characteristics of these spaces. This study added significant information in this field. (Castonguay & Jutras, 2009)
And (Elsley, 2004) claimed that in poor neighborhoods, streets and alleys are among children preferences. This
study concluded that streets and alleys could be favorable for children provided that they are safe and under indirect
monitoring of their parents. Children prefer the flat alleys or the ones with a slow slope, but they do not like the
stepped alleys. (Fig.7). A large flexible outdoor space that is located between houses in the neighborhood or has a
joint edge with a cultural/educational center can be a place with high potential for designing a child-friendly center.
This location must include natural elements to be attracted to children. In a field study carried out in Farahzad, an
outdoor public parking was found in which children were dancing and climbing. In each neighborhood according to
the physical characteristic of the alleys and streets, some special plays are more prevalent among children as
climbing and playing on steps in Farahzad.
28 Sharareh Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 ( 2015 ) 19 – 29
Fig. 7. Children playing in alleys.
In designing the play spaces, especially in poor neighborhoods, there is no necessary need to use specific play
setting like Swings, slides and so on. Children relying on their imagination, while playing with mere playthings,
create a variety of games. This fact will lead to creativity growth. Future studies could concentrate on these
elements' features.
Acknowledgements
The authors thank the psychologists participating in this research, the personnel and the children of “Science
House” in Farahzad. The first author also appreciates the assistance of Dr. Saeid Noruzian and help of Ms. Elaheh
Davoudi and Ms. Azam Madahi-Zadeh.
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Studies, 2(4).
... The theoretical framework which describes dimensions related to child-friendly environments states that urban and environmental quality is a part of the physical parameter as a normative dimension [34]. • Cognitive: Children discover, explore, and develop an understanding of their surroundings through play [55]. They become well acquainted with the patterns and systems of life and develop cognitive skills as a result of their exploration and experience of social, physical, and natural environments [56]. ...
... They learn to respect social issues and legal rules through group games [14]. Safety is among the most important characteristics of designing a child-friendly environment [55]. The lack of safety and security has resulted in a significant reduction in children's outdoor activities [64]. ...
... Many research scholars have collected such written notes to avoid any biases during the analysis process [101,116,124,125]. All the drawings were discussed with a panel, consisting of five psychologists [55]. The experts were selected randomly from the list of city psychologists and pediatricians, who provided their concerns for the study. ...
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The urban environment is a product of many tangible and intangible factors for communities, involving activities, spaces, and users of different age groups. Stakeholder consultation has become an essential part of envisaging any urban space. In general practice, mostly adults’ opinions and suggestions are taken into account, and children are sidelined, even if the issues are related to children. Children are an integral part of the present urbanizing world and are some of its most sensitive and affected users. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes three P’s: provision, protection, and participation. The third, participation, is a crucial dimension of creating a healthier environment, but it has largely been neglected. The drawing technique is among the methods to gather information directly through the children’s participatory approach. It has been observed that children prefer to express themselves by drawing rather than answering questions and find it easy and enjoyable. This research incorporates drawing as a methodological tool for identifying children’s expectations and understanding their preferences about their ideal neighborhood park. A total of 80 children aged between 6 and 15 years from planned zones of Lucknow city were selected for the research. The results derived from the content and co-relation data analysis techniques highlight that children emphasized physical, perceptional, cognitive, emotional, and social parameters for developing a child-friendly environment in parks and open spaces.
... Apart from maximising children interaction with nature, it also helps to manage the unwanted risks associated with outdoor activity among children. Which include, air and noise pollution (especially in urban areas), animal bites (especially in tropical countries), communicable diseases and accidents during outdoor play (Ghanbari-Azarneir et al., 2015). (Source: Ghanbari-Azarneir et al., 2015;Kelz, Evans & Röderer, 2015;Spencer & Wright, 2014;Acar, 2014;Kelz, Evans & Röderer, 2013;Latif, Bidin & Awang, 2013;Azlina & Zulkiflee, 2012;Ramli et al., 2012;UNICEF, 2012;Hinds & Sparks, 2007) ...
... Which include, air and noise pollution (especially in urban areas), animal bites (especially in tropical countries), communicable diseases and accidents during outdoor play (Ghanbari-Azarneir et al., 2015). (Source: Ghanbari-Azarneir et al., 2015;Kelz, Evans & Röderer, 2015;Spencer & Wright, 2014;Acar, 2014;Kelz, Evans & Röderer, 2013;Latif, Bidin & Awang, 2013;Azlina & Zulkiflee, 2012;Ramli et al., 2012;UNICEF, 2012;Hinds & Sparks, 2007) ...
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Children are the future guardian of the Earth. Environmental Education (EE) at preschool level is crucial for instilling environmental stewardship. This paper discusses how preschool designs can be manipulated to facilitate and enhance the EE implementation. In summary, it is suggested that preschool settings should be designed to maximise children’s interaction with nature. It not only helps to optimise children’s development and literacy but also contributes to the prediction of their intentions to appreciate and to protect the environment. Findings are useful for Malaysian policy makers and designers in designing preschools that are sustainable and support EE.Keywords: Malaysian preschool; green preschool design; children environmental behavior; environmental education.eISSN 2398-4295 © 2018. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21834/ajbes.v3i13.150
... The use of the urban space by children differs between high-density and low-density areas (Evans 2004). A low-income environment is less safe, has fewer natural elements and limited accessibility to public play spaces Children from low-income families prefer to play in areas close to their homes, such as community yards, nearby a relative's home and quiet streets, places where informal socializing occurs as well (Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. 2015). ...
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This study aimed to explore the characteristics of children’s spaces and the adaptation in the Duang Khae neighbourhood of the Rong Mueang sub-district, in Bangkok. In this study, we adopted multiple methods to collect data from diverse populations: visual questionnaires, focus group interviews, play space mapping, photography activities and a site visit. Our study revealed the children mostly preferred the Foundation for Child Development playground, the Duang Khae temple and the Rot Fai flat playground that is within a permitted traveling distance and does not entail crossing an avenue. The local organization and the temple play a crucial role in providing recreation areas for the community of children and adults. Also, we found that children use narrow spaces in front of their houses (sois) as a common play space and shortcut routes interconnected to the nearby play spaces as a creative network in this high-density neighbourhood.
... All the drawings and essays were collected and content analysis was carried out to obtain the children's perceptions of their neighborhood. The parameters identified through the literature survey were also observed through content analysis of both the exercises undertaken by children (Azarneir et al. 2015). ...
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The creation of cities has been one of the most phenomenal achievements of human endeavor. Adults are the major stakeholders for such achievements but the children are helpless and representationless. The current research paper aims at understanding the issues faced by the children in the rapidly urbanized world where the lack of child-friendly environments/open spaces for their outdoor activities is cause for concern. The research paper looked at various national and international norms, standards, and practices of parks and open spaces to identify various child-friendly environmental parameters. The research adopted the Delphi method as a tool for the validation of child-friendly environment parameters. It also used children’s drawings and essays to understand children’s perceptions about the child-friendly environment. It is observed that present government norms and policies do not adhere to those parameters. The research found that Lucknow city does not meet the defined quantitative norms and standards as laid out by the national norms and standards for open spaces and parks. The quality dimensions for planning a child-friendly environment are weakly addressed by cities and neighborhoods. The city neighborhoods lack the physical, cognitive, perceptional, emotional, and social dimensions of a child-friendly environment. There is a need to adopt suitable norms and standards with measurable parameters as part of various dimensions and implement these in creating a child-friendly environment in planned neighborhoods.
... Interestingly, in poor or deprived neighbourhoods and communities, natural settings, public and open spaces such as streets, car parks, parks, fields, gentle slopes or alleys offer important resources and opportunities for socialisation, development, learning and active play (Day and Wager 2010;Ghanbari-Azarneir et al. 2015). Leisure poverty, immobility and infrastructural inequalities or deficits result in young people finding alternate, affordable and accessible activities and opportunities to socialise or engage in recreation, sports or leisure activities. ...
Article
The interdisciplinary “spatial turn” (and “mobilities turn”) within sociology and the social sciences and humanities has given rise to renewed interest in the conceptual frameworks and theorisation of place, space and locality (localities). In contemporary child (childhood) and youth research, immediate place, space and localities are powerful frameworks for understanding and examining young people’s everyday lives, realities, biographies as well as meaning making, construction of their identities and sense of belonging or exclusion. The emplaced hierarchies, inequalities, power relations and differentiations—in combination with innate, biographical, proximal and distal influences—will shape and direct young people’s interactions, activities and networks within and across different places, spaces and localities. There remains a lacuna regarding such research in developing countries, including South Africa post-1994. This paper examines how and why the concepts of space, place, and locality are of significance and contribute to an understanding of urban young people’s diverse everyday lives, challenges, needs and experiences. This paper focuses, firstly, on a discussion of the contested, conflicting and varying constructions of the concepts place, space and locality. Secondly, there is a discussion on some of the themes, debates and discourses shaping knowledge production in this area.
... Three girls and boys say they like to plant seeds. Most children claim that they always play with animals in the environment around their place of residence (Ghanbari-Azarneir, Anbari, Hosseini, & Yazdanfar, 2015). ...
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Physical activity is very important for early childhood, especially outdoor activities that add a lot of new experiences. This study aims to check the relationship of children's outdoor activities and parenting styles and children's social skills. The participants are 125 parents of early childhood who attend kindergarten. The research method is a descriptive study using the relational screening model. The results showed that there was a relationship between outside play and parenting style on the social skills of children in their childhood. Democratic parenting styles are found to promote children's social skills, while authoritative parenting styles have a negative correlation with interpersonal skills, the ability to express verbally, self-control, listening skills, emotional management and adaptation to change. In the sub-dimensions of anger management and adaptation to changing skills is a significant difference between authoritative parenting styles and not permissive parenting with children's social skills.
... Gibson's theory has been widely used since the 1970s to analyse the transactional relationships between people and environments and to study the ways in which the material environment is inextricably linked with environmental psychology and social relations (Clark and Uzzell, 2002;Uzzell, 2016). Much research has been done on the psychosocial affordances of particular environments (for example, Ghanbari-Azarneir et al, 2015). Children and young people can shape environments to support their goals by realising, or actualising, affordances (Clark and Uzzell, 2002). ...
Article
Neighborhood green space is closely related to the lives of every city dweller. However, some evidence showed that residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods do not fully use the green space due to quality, safety, and distance issues. Therefore, it is essential to understand how disadvantaged groups interact and use green space in these communities. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive evaluation. This research systematically sorts out the relevant literature and collects various attributes of the use, constraints, and preferences of the residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods on the green space through a systematic review method from the perspective of social ecology. Through a literature review of 4 databases (Science Direct, Scopus, web of science, and CNKI), 42 articles (N=42) were finally included. This article concerns peer-reviewed papers published between 2008 and 2021. The research results showed that residents of disadvantaged communities' use of nearby green space are affected by personal, social, physical, and other attributes. Finally, a conceptual framework for the use, constraints, and preferences of disadvantaged neighborhood green space is proposed to help planners and designers design and improve community green space more effectively and ultimately achieve a harmonious living environment that meets various needs.
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موضوع اهمیت و جایگاه کودکان در شهرها کم رنگ دیده می­شود، مخصوصاً در افغانستان که خیلی از کاربری­ها مانند ساحه سبز، تفریح گاه، پارک، کودکستان­ها و پیاده­راه ها را از عملکرد اصلی آن کاسته و به اماکن مسکونی و رهایشی و تجارتی تبدیل کرده­اند ؛ کودکان با وجود عدم امنیت عمومی موضوعاتی چون اختطاف و تجاوز جنسی و کارهای شاقه گریبان­گیر کودکان در افغانستان را هستند. شهر یک واقعیت زنده و پویا است که نباید خود را بر کودک تحمیل کند، بلکه باید متناسب با شخصیت او شکل گیرد. تحقیق حاضر در مورد کیفیت منظرشهری با درنظرداشت دوستدار کودک در محدوده لیسه مریم که در ناحیه یازدهم شهر کابل واقع شده است را دربر می­گیرد. هدف اصلي تحقیق، تغییرات در نماها و قسمت های بیرونی تعمیرات رنگ، نورپردازی های مناسب، خوانایی، حس تعلق خاطر، امنیت، فضاهای سبز و تنوع دار و دسترسی ها می­باشد و منظر شهری برای کودکان است.پژوهش حاضر از نوع کاربردی، تحلیلی- توصیفی بوده که برای جمع آوری داده ها از روش کتابخانه­ای- میدانی استفاده شده است، روش تجزیه و تحلیل در این پژوهش بطور تحلیلی- توصیفی از روش سوات SWOT که با در نظرداشت نقاط (قوت، ضعف، فرصت­ها و تهدیدها) را که تمام موضوعات متغییرهای تحقیق را دربر دارد در نظر گرفته شده که با توجه به آن ماتریس نقاط داخلی-خارجی IE تشکیل و موقعیت سازمان را بررسی نموده است. نتیجه حاصل از پژوهش حاضر چنین آمده است که در اول سازمان در موقعیت تدافعی قرار گرفته است و تأکید بر آن دارد تا نقاط ضعف و تهدیدها را به حداقل برساند که به وجود آوردن امنیت و احساس امنیت برای کودکان و خانواده هایشان ایجاد احساس آرامش، استفاده از رنگ­های جذاب و زیبا در محوطه شهری برای کودکان یاد گردیده است و در ادامه به قسمت دوم نتیجه گیری به موقعیت سازمان محافظه کارانه و به ترتیب موقعیت رقابتی و در اخیر به موقعیت تهاجمی سازمان قرار گرفته است و نظر به نتایج بدست آمده، ارائه پیشنهادات در اخیر آمده است. برای تائید و رد فرضیات تحقیق و سولات اصلی تحقیق، پرسشنامه به تعداد 315 عدد در نظر گرفته شده است که به طور تصادفی از افراد محل مورد نظر جمع آوری شده و با استفاده از پروگرام SPSS به آزمون فرضیات و تحلیل ارتباط و همبستگی متغیرهای تحقیق پرداخته می­شود. و در اخیر نیز با ملاحظات تجزیه و تحلیل و آزمون فرضیات، محقق پیشنهادهای خویش را در امور مناسب سازی منظرشهری برای کودکان لیسه مریم در قالب طرح پیشنهادی ارائه می­دارد.
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Background: The absence of urban environment for children in the urban spaces along with growing urban development have resulted in children’s decreased presence in this area gradually. Because of these policies, the sense of belonging to the urban environment in children is now differently assessed. Hence, it can be concluded that the environment plays a significant role in the development of personality and child growth; thereby forming the cultural, social factors as well as a great portion of the child's environmental and spatial attachments in the family on neighborhood context. Objectives: This study attempts to evaluate the relationship between components such as environmental flexibility, location identity, and presence in neighborhoods as components of urban planning with such factors as playing, experienced emotion, and participation in decision making. The main question of this study is the effect and extent of these components on each component. Methodology: Methodologically, this study has a quantitative approach and a descriptive and causal-comparative research strategy. The data collection tool is a researcher-made questionnaire that 367 students were chosen through clustering from each school, among 8000 students of Bandar Anzali. The outcomes were analyzed through the software SPSS24 and LISREL8.80. Results: The analysis of the results proved that the highest effect coefficient (95%) in children was related to place flexibility, which causes creativity in the creation of a game by the child. Conclusion: The following grades of the most influence was for physical presence in the neighborhoods with 94% and place identity with 89%, obtained from the questionnaire filled by children.
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Environmental characteristics affecting children’s physical abilities and health are worth understanding. The purpose of this study is to identify neighborhood environmental characteristics that influence children’s activities and assess the friendliness of Taiwanese communities toward children’s activities. Conditions are observed on the basis of five environmental characteristics: safety, amenity, accessibility, sociability, and attractiveness. The three communities studied have different combinations of street patterns and land use which, in turn, are conducive to different children’s activities. These findings are valuable for community design aimed at promoting children’s activities. Keywords: Neighborhood Characteristics, Children’s Activities, Community Design, Street Pattern © 2017. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BYNC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
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The article presents the results of a poll of 1936 parents, who's preschool children visit Moscow kindergartens, about organization of child's play activity. It continues a cycle of works about preschool sociology conducted by researchers of Institute for Sociology of Education RAE. Special attention is given to the consideration of place of joint play of parents with their child in general structure of family leisure time and involvement of parents in child's play. Besides we analyze representations of parents about game preferences of preschoolers: what toys and games are preferred by their children. The analysis is conducted on the impact of a number of demographic (gender, age) and social stratification factors (material status, education level, composition of the family, etc.).
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Previous Western-based studies had revealed that preschool children exhibited more positive play/social behaviors within well-defined spaces. This paper investigated 5 types of play/social behaviors among 494 Malaysian preschool children, aged 5–6 years, of both genders, in 20 classrooms categorized into well defined, moderately defined, and poorly defined. The methodology involved personal natural unobtrusive observations, video recordings, behavioral mapping, and interviews. The findings revealed results similar to those of the previous Western-based studies. The implications of the findings were discussed in relation to the design of future preschool classrooms.
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Through physical play children enjoy and learn in a holistic manner. Preschools can provide many opportunities to enhance children’s social skills, via social interaction and cooperation in physical play. Deficits in social skills can have short-term detrimental effects on children’s development as well as long-term impacts later in their life. Although research has emphasized the beneficial effects of physical play on children’s social competence, studies on problem behaviors of preschool children in physical play, are limited. The present study aimed at identifying hostile behaviors of preschool children during physical play and possible gender differences in this regard. It is part of a broader research which aims to evaluate the social skills of preschool children in different settings, after testing the psychometric properties of MESSY-II in Greek population. One hundred preschool children, 2.5-3.5 years of age participated. Hostile behaviors were assessed by children’s teachers with MESSY-II (Matson, Neal, Worley, Kozlowski, &Fodstad, 2012). T-test for independent samples indicated that boys were rated as presenting significantly more hostile behaviors than girls during physical play. These differences should be taken into account in developing treatment as well as preventive strategies to facilitate preschool children’s social development.
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Urbanization in Malaysia continues to demand more low cost housings. Walk up flats are popular housing forms for their relatively lower construction and maintenance costs. Standardization and spatial efficiency requirements result in minimum dwelling spaces that spill life outdoor. For children, outdoor space becomes integral part of growing up and social experiences. Different flats configuration offer different spatial affordances for such experiences that could inform designs. The paper explores children outdoor activities and relates them to flats layouts through comparative study and found that the different flats configurations affect the different patterns of children outdoor activities.
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The study shows empirical evidence of the moderator effect that school and nearby nature at home has on children. A total of 172 children were interviewed and data about their stress level, the amount of nature they perceived around them and frequency of exposure to adversity, was collected. The nearby nature at home and in the school for each of the children was measured using a designed scale. The results suggest that nature bolsters children´s resilience so that those children who have more contact with nature cope better with adversity than those who do not have daily access to nature. Keywords: Nature, Children, Moderator Effect, Stress © 2017. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BYNC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
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This study intends to find a relation between children´s perceived restoration and their environmental orientations. In order to do that, a designed perceived restoration scale adapted from the PRCS-C II was used as well as an adapted version of the Children´s Environmental Perceptions Scale (CEPS). A total of 832 children aged between 6 and 13 participated in the study. The results show that there is a relation between the perceived restoration due to the nature present in the school playground and the environmental orientations children show. Keywords: Children, environmental orientations, perceived restoration, nature. © 2017 The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.