Building child-friendly cities

The ability of children to get about and play in their local neighbourhood unaccompanied by adults – children’s independent mobility – has significantly declined over recent generations. This matters, not only because children want and enjoy independence, but because their immediate well-being and longer-term social, physical and mental development and health benefit from being independently mobile. Built environments that work for children work for everyone, yet children’s needs and perspectives are routinely overlooked in the policy, planning and practice of urban development. This seminar will present findings from recent research conducted in Hackney, London exploring these issues with two classes of 9-10 year old children. It will present insights on the experience of children growing up in inner city London, the ways children can and can’t use public space and the challenges this poses for urban design professionals and policy-makers.

Thursday, 21 March, 2019 - 12:30 to 14:00
Ben Shaw
Presenter(s) biography: 

Ben Shaw is Deputy Director of Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus at the University of Surrey. Prior to joining Surrey in April 2018 he was Director of Policy Studies Institute.
He has over 20 years’ experience of working on environmental issues at the interface of research and policy. While at PSI he worked on research projects investigating eco-innovation, environmental tax reform, public responses to environmental policy, the evaluation of policy and research, and children’s independent mobility. He was the lead co-ordinator of the Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN) and managed the secretariat for the UK Green Fiscal Commission.
Ben has a particular research interests in the use of evidence in the policy system, the development of evaluation approaches for environmental policy interventions and development of policies and actions intended to create child-friendly cities.