Play Streets

Children in Hackney are reclaiming the streets, thanks to a groundbreaking scheme enabling residents to close residential streets for a few hours to through traffic, turning them into play streets. 



What is more dangerous, an adventure playground or a conventional playground?

In the cultural conversation about play and risk, adventure playgrounds – proper ones I mean, with timber structures, tools, junk materials and skilled workers – are very much on the radical side of the argument. But how dangerous are they, really?



'We've done an abysmal job': Australia is struggling to handle its swelling population

Australia is growing fast. In one year we added nearly 400,000 people to our population. That is like adding a city the size of Canberra.

But, of course, we are not building new cities. Most of those new residents are swelling the populations of our four major cities: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.


Four Corners By Ben Knight

Cities Alive: Designing for Urban Childhoods

A child-friendly approach to urban planning is a vital part of creating inclusive cities that work better for everyone. Designing for urban childhoods inspires us to respond positively to the challenges, and sets out actions that can help take us to a more child-friendly future – moving well beyond simply providing playgrounds.




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The child as an indicator species for cities: reflections on Philadelphia

13-years ago, the British writer and researcher Tim Gill coined the term ‘battery-reared children’ to warn of the impact of poor spatial planning on modern childhoods. He has often spoken since of the need to see children’s play and independent mobility as a measure of the liveability of our towns and cities. This blog begins with his opinion piece from the Philadelphia Enquirer, coinciding with his trip to the US city, and is followed by his reflections on the visit.

by Tim Gill

Child in the City


Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities

There are a number of projects, across Toronto and internationally, which demonstrate good planning for children and youth. The projects showcased here illustrate how good design at the unit, building and neighborhood scales can improve the livability for current and future families residing in vertical communities.


City of Toronto

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The future of housing: families in apartments

It might be a squeeze on space, but for many families apartments are the housing of the future.

by Sophie-May Kerr


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What has happened to the Australian backyard?

Bigger and bigger dwellings are diminishing the size of backyards in contemporary suburban developments, leaving less opportunity for biodiversity and canopy cover in our cities.

by Tony Hall 17
October 2016



BIG Courtyard in Berlin

Berlin courtyard scheme BIGyard Gartenhof designed by Markus Schönherr in 2010 that seemed to capture the essence of future high density housing for families.

by bdlaDE

BIGyard video


Project Wild Thing

David Bond is a filmmaker and a father. Things have really changed since he was a kid. His children are hooked on screens and don't want to go outdoors. They want iPads, TV and plastic toys. The marketing departments of Apple, Disney and Mattel control his children better than he can. Determined to get them up and out, David appoints himself as the Marketing Director for Nature. With the help of branding and outdoor experts, he develops and launches a nationwide marketing campaign to get British children outside. But the competition is not going to lie down and let some upstart with a free product steal their market. PROJECT WILD THING is the hilarious, real-life story of one man's determination to get children out and into the ultimate, free wonder-product: Nature.

Project Wild Thing Trailer

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designing with children

This website aims to inspire design practitioners and bring together in dialogue anyone interested in exploring how children's cultures, capacities and imagination may have an impact upon the design profession, design process and ultimately the built environment.


Designing with Children


A Good Place for Children?

Attracting and retaining families in inner urban mixed income communities.

"An analysis of how mixed income new communities (MINCs) are working for families." in the UK.

Emily Silverman, Ruth Lupton and Alex Fenton