Future plans for a child-friendly neighbourhood

Future plans for a child-friendly neighbourhood

↓ Projectinfo

By 2030, 60% of the world's population would live in cities, of all these city dwellers, 60% would be under 18 years old (Ruble et al., 2003). This is when cities often have negative impacts on children such as traffic hazards, air and noise pollution, and poor mental and physical health (Christian et al., 2015). Also, planning focus on children is rare, especially in developing countries. This research is situated in Santo Antonio, part of the historic city centre of Recife, Brazil. Santo Antonio struggles with a high proportion of vacant buildings. There are only a few properties that are occupied and two properties are occupied by squatters' movements.

This research aims to revitalise Santo Antonio in a child-friendly and inclusive way. From this, the following research question was formulated: In what way could ideas for a child-friendly neighbourhood encourage inclusive revitalisation in Santo Antonio? To answer this research question, design-driven participatory action research was used. Knowledge about the lives of children currently in Santo Antonio and the needs of children and their parents in the neighbourhood was built together with a marginalised group, the residents of a squatter's house. The local university Universidade Catolica de Pernambuco (UNICAP) provided on-site lectures and also established contact with the squatter's house, allowing informal conversations, observations, a workshop, an urban tactic and a participation moment to take place.

This study shows design proposals made based on on-site field research to develop a child-friendly network in Santo Antonio. The initial interventions for child-friendliness are supposed to start with the inhabitants of the occupation. These are mobilised into action in collaboration with other actors. There are also design proposals that propose interventions on a larger scale to contribute to a child-friendly neighbourhood. The proposals included in this study will make Santo Antonio more liveable, safe and pleasant by adding quality, green public space where attention is paid to children. These proposals will help stimulate the revitalisation of Santo Antonio.

The results from this study can be used by the marginalised group to get involved themselves and initiate child-friendly spaces. In addition, it can also be used to convince the government to intervene towards inclusive revitalisation in Santo Antonio.

  • Authors:
    • Dries Linthout

    • Marleen Goethals (Promotor)
    • Thomas Vanoutrive (Promotor)
    • Múcio Jucá (Promotor)
    • Lula Marcondes (Promotor)
  • Period:
    • 2022 — 2023  

    • Urbanism & Spatial Planning

    • Master thesis

    • UNICAP