Advertisement

Participatory Schoolyard Design for Health and Well-Being: Policies that Support Play in Urban Green Spaces

  • Victoria L. DerrEmail author
  • Alessandro Rigolon
Living reference work entry
  • 82 Downloads
Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 12)

Abstract

Informal play in nature is fundamental to children’s health and well-being, providing physical, social, and psychological benefits. Yet children in urban environments frequently lack access to natural spaces for free play. Participatory planning similarly is important across many domains in contributing to children’s well-being. This chapter reviews the benefits and threats to children’s informal play in nature in cities today. It then examines the role of green schoolyards as one means of providing opportunities for such play. Finally, it explores a case study of a participatory planning and design process to expand nature play opportunities in a schoolyard and adjacent park in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Interviews with professionals involved in the project are used to identify themes, programs, and policies at municipal, state, and international levels that promote children’s informal play in urban green spaces.

Keywords

Green schoolyards Parks Children Informal play Nature Participatory planning Health Well-being Policies Child-friendly cities 

References

  1. Astbury, J. (2013). Interactive urban landscapes for well-being and sustainability. In R. Coles & Z. Millman (Eds.), Landscape, well-being and environment (pp. 72–86). Abington: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Botchwey, N. D., Trowbridge, M., & Fisher, T. (2014). Green health urban planning and the development of healthy and sustainable neighborhoods and schools. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 34(2), 113–122. doi:10.1177/0739456X14531830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bundy, A. C., Naughton, G., Tranter, P., Wyver, S., Baur, L., Schiller, W., et al. (2013). The Sydney Playground Project: Popping the bubblewrap-unleashing the power of play: A cluster randomized controlled trial of a primary school playground-based intervention aiming to increase children’s physical activity and social skills. BMC Public Health, 11(1), 680. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carroll, P., Witten, K., & Kearns, R. (2011). Housing intensification in Auckland, New Zealand: Implications for children and families. Housing Studies, 26(03), 353–367. doi:10.1080/02673037.2011.542096.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carroll, P., Asiasiga, L., Tava’e, N., & Witten, K. (2013). Kids in the city: Differing perceptions of one neighborhood in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In R. Coles & Z. Millman (Eds.), Landscape, well-being and environment (pp. 129–146). Abington: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Cele, S., & Van der Burgt, D. (2013). Participation, consultation, confusion: Professionals’ understanding of children’s participation in physical planning. Children’s Geographies. doi:10.1080/14733285.2013.827873.Google Scholar
  7. Chawla, L. (2002). Growing up in an urbanizing world. New York: UNESCO/Earthscan Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Chawla, L. (2009). Participation as capacity-building for active citizenship. Centre De Recherche En \'Ethique De L'udem (CR\'EUM).Google Scholar
  9. Chawla, L., & Derr, V. (2012). The development of conservation behaviors in childhood and youth. In S. D. Clayton (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of environmental and conservation psychology (pp. 527–555). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Chawla, L., & Heft, H. (2002). Children’s competence and the ecology of communities: A functional approach to the evaluation of participation. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 22(1-2), 201–216. doi:10.1006/jevp.2002.0244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chawla, L., Keena, K., Pevec, I., & Stanley, E. (2014). Green schoolyards as havens from stress and resources for resilience in childhood and adolescence. Health & Place, 28, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. City of Boulder. (2010). Core values, sustainability framework and general policies. http://www-static.bouldercolorado.gov/docs/1-core-values-sustainability-framework-general-policies-1-201307121119.pdf. 6 June 2014.
  13. Cohen, D. A., Ashwood, J. S., Scott, M. M., Overton, A., Evenson, K. R., Staten, L. K., Porter, D., McKenzie, T. L., & Catellier, D. (2006). Public parks and physical activity among adolescent girls. Pediatrics, 118(5), e1381–e1389. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-1226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Collective Roots. (2014). Website. http://www.collectiveroots.org/10. Oct 2014.
  15. Czalczynska-Podolska, M. (2014). The impact of playground spatial features on children’s play and activity forms: An evaluation of contemporary playgrounds’ play and social value. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, 132–142. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2014.01.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Danks, S. (2010). Asphalt to ecosystems: Design ideas for schoolyard transformation. Oakland: New Village Press.Google Scholar
  17. Davis, J. (2014). Examining early childhood education through the lens of education for sustainability: Revisioning rights. In J. Davis & S. Elliott (Eds.), Research in early childhood education for sustainability: International perspectives and provocations (pp. 21–37). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Derr, V. (2006). Sometimes birds sound like fish: Perspectives on children’s place experiences. In C. Spencer & M. Francis (Eds.), Children and their environments: Learning, using and designing spaces (pp. 108–123). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Derr, V., & Lance, K. (2012). Biophilic Boulder: Children’s environments that foster connection to nature. Children, Youth, and Environments, 22(2), 112–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Derr, V., Chawla, L., Mintzer, M., Flanders-Cushing, D., & van Vliet, W. (2013). A city for all citizens: Integrating children and youth from marginalized populations into city planning. Buildings, 3, 482–505. doi:10.3390/buildings3030482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Driskell, D. (2002). Creating better cities for children and youth: A manual for participation. London: Earthscan Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Dyment, J. E., & Bell, A. C. (2008). Grounds for movement: Green school grounds as sites for promoting physical activity. Health Education Research, 23(6), 952–962. doi:10.1093/her/cym059.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dyment, J. E., Bell, A. C., & Lucas, A. J. (2009). The relationship between school ground design and intensity of physical activity. Children’s Geographies, 7(3), 261–276. doi:10.1080/14733280903024423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Francis, M., & Lorenzo, R. (2006). Children and city design: Proactive process and the renewal of childhood. In C. Spencer & M. Blades (Eds.), Children and their environments: Learning, using and designing spaces (pp. 217–237). London: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Freeman, C. (2006). Colliding worlds: Planning with children and young people for better cities. In B. Gleeson & N. Sipe (Eds.), Creating child friendly cities: Reinstating kids in the city (pp. 69–85). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Freeman, C., & Tranter, P. (2011). Children and their urban environment: Changing worlds. London: Earthscan Publications.Google Scholar
  27. Gill, T. (2007). No fear: Growing up in a risk averse society. London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.Google Scholar
  28. GOCO. (2014). Great Outdoors Colorado. Accessed on August 15, 2014 from http://www.goco.org/.Google Scholar
  29. Greater London Authority. (2012). Shaping neighbourhoods: Children and young people’s play and informal recreation. London. http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/ChildrensPlayspaceSPG31Jan12.pdf. 15 June 2014.
  30. Growing Up Boulder. (2014). http://www.growingupboulder.org/burke-park-planning.html. 12 Sept 2014.
  31. Hart, R. A. (1997). Children’s participation: The theory and practice of involving young citizens in community development and environmental care. London: Earthscan, UNICEF.Google Scholar
  32. Hart, R. A. (2002). Containing children: Some lessons on planning for play from New York city. Environment & Urbanization, 14(2), 135–148. doi:10.1177/095624780201400211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Herrington, S., & Studtmann, K. (1998). Landscape interventions: New directions for the design of children’s outdoor play environments. Landscape and Urban Planning, 42(2-4), 191–205. doi:10.1016/S0169-2046(98)00087-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ito, K. (2014). “Growing place” for children’s play and ecological learning: A collaborative landscape design process for 12 years in an urban area in Japan. In The 7th child in the city conference, Odense, 30 Sept 2014.Google Scholar
  35. Jansson, M. & Mårtensson, F. (2012). Green school grounds: A collaborative development and research project in Malmö, Sweden. Children, Youth and Environments, 22(1), 260–269.Google Scholar
  36. Jansson, M., Gunnarsson, A., Mårtensson, F., & Andersson, S. (2014). Children’s perspectives on vegetation establishment: Implications for school ground greening. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 13, 166–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kahn, P. H., & Kellert, S. R. (Eds.). (2002). Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  38. Kong, L. (2000). Nature’s dangers, nature’s pleasures: Urban children and the natural world. In S. L. Holloway & G. Valentine (Eds.), Children’s geographies: Playing, living, learning (pp. 257–271). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Lansdown, G. (2010). The realization of children’s rights: Critical reflections. In B. Percy-Smith & N. Thomas (Eds.), A handbook of children and young people’s participation (pp. 11–23). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Learning through Landscapes. (n.d.). About learning through landscapes. http://www.ltl.org.uk/about/about-ltl.php. 8 Oct 2014.
  41. Lozanovska, M., & Xu, L. (2013). Children and university architecture students working together: A pedagogical model of children’s participation in architectural design. Co-Design: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 9(4), 209–229. doi:10.1080/15710882.2012.693187.Google Scholar
  42. Malone, K. (2013). The future lies in our hands: Children as researchers and environmental change agents in designing a child-friendly neighbourhood. Local Environment, 18(3), 372–395. doi:10.1080/13549839.2012.719020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Malone, K., & Hartung, C. (2010). Challenges of participatory practice with children. In B. Percy-Smith & N. Thomas (Eds.), A handbook of children and young people’s participation (pp. 24–38). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Malone, K., & Tranter, P. (2003). School grounds as sites for learning: Making the most of environmental opportunities. Environmental Education Research, 9(3), 283–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McCurdy, L. E., Winterbottom, K. E., Mehta, S. S., & Roberts, J. R. (2010). Using nature and outdoor activity to promote children’s health. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 40(5), 101–118. doi:10.1016/j.cppeds.2010.02.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Moore, R., & Cooper, A. (2014). Nature play and learning spaces: National guidelines for creating and managing spaces where children engage with nature. Natural Learning Initiative, National Wildlife Federation, United States Forest Service. http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Programs/Nature-Play-Spaces-Guide.aspx. 5 Oct 2014.
  47. Moore, R., & Marcus, C. C. (2008). Healthy planet, healthy children: Designing nature into the daily spaces of childhood. In S. R. Kellert, J. Heerwagen, & M. Mador (Eds.), Biophilic design: Theory, science and practice (pp. 153–204). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  48. Moore, R., & Wong, H. H. (1997). Natural learning: The life history of an environmental schoolyard. Berkeley: MIG Communications.Google Scholar
  49. National Recreation & Park Association. (2011). Parks and recreation in underserved areas: A public health perspective. Asburn. http://www.nrpa.org/uploadedFiles/nrpa.org/Publications_and_Research/Research/Papers/Parks-Rec-Underserved-Areas.pdf. 2 June 2014.
  50. Nature Explore. (2014). Nature explore: A collaborative program of Arbor day foundation and dimensions educational research. Accessed August 15, 2014 from http://natureexplore.org/.
  51. Natural Learning Initiative. (2009). Preventing obesity by design (POD-2). http://www.naturalearning.org/preventing-obesity-design-pod-2. 15 Sept 2014.
  52. Nature Play WA. (2014). Nature play WA. http://www.natureplaywa.org.au/Play. 15 Sept 2014
  53. NWF. (2014). National wildlife foundation. Accessed on August 15, 2014 from http://www.nwf.org.
  54. Play Australia. (2010). Natural environments DEEC. http://www.playaustralia.org.au/content/natural-environments. 15 Sept 2014.
  55. Play England. (2007). Planning for housing: Including space for play and informal recreation. London. http://www.playengland.org.uk/media/120483/planning-for-housing-briefing.pdf. 15 Sept 2014.
  56. Potwarka, L. R., Kaczynski, A. T., & Flack, A. L. (2008). Places to play: Association of park space and facilities with healthy weight status among children. Journal of Community Health, 33(5), 344–350. doi:10.1007/s10900-008-9104-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Reed, E. S. (1996). Encountering the world. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Rigolon, A. (2011). A space with meaning: Children’s involvement in participatory design processes. Design Principles and Practices, 5(2), 151–163.Google Scholar
  59. Rigolon, A., & Flohr, T. L. (2014). Access to parks for youth as an environmental justice issue: Access inequalities and possible solutions. Buildings, 4(2), 69–94. doi:10.3390/buildings4020069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rigolon, A., Derr, V., & Chawla, L. (2015). Green grounds for play and learning: Synergies in design between schools and park systems. In D. Sinnett, S. Burgess, & N. Smith (Eds.), Handbook on green infrastructure: Planning, design and implementation (pp. 281–300). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  61. Sipe, N., Buchanan, N., & Dodson, J. (2006). Children in the urban environment: A review of research. In B. Gleeson & N. Sipe (Eds.), Creating child-friendly cities: Reinstating kids in the city (pp. 87–102). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  62. Sutton, S. E., & Kemp, S. P. (2002). Children as partners in neighborhood placemaking: Lessons from intergenerational design charrettes. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 22(1-2), 171–189. doi:10.1006/jevp.2001.0251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tranter, P. (2006). Overcoming social traps: A key to creating child-friendly cities. In B. Gleeson & N. Sipe (Eds.), Creating child friendly cities: Reinstating kids in the city (pp. 121–135). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. UNICEF. (2014). General comments of the committee on the rights of the child. General Comment No. 17. The right of the child to rest, leisure, play, recreational activities, cultural life and the arts (Art. 31). United Nations CRC/C/GC/17. 17 April 2013. Committee on the Rights of the Child. Sixty-second session, 14 Jan–1 Feb 2013. South Africa: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  65. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (2013). Convention on the rights of the child. http://www.unicef.org/crc/. 22 Jan 2014.
  66. Wales, M. (2014). Personal Communication, Movium. Nordic light on children’s outdoors, Malmö and Lund, 2 Oct 2014.Google Scholar
  67. Walsh, P. (2006). Creating child friendly playspaces: A practitioner’s perspective. In B. Gleeson & N. Sipe (Eds.), Creating child-friendly cities: Reinstating kids in the city (pp. 136–151). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. Waters, A. (2008). Edible schoolyard: A universal idea. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.Google Scholar
  69. Wells, N. M. (2014). The role of nature in children’s resilience: Cognitive and social processes. In K. G. Tidball & M. E. Krasny (Eds.), Greening in the red zone: Disaster, resilience and community greening (pp. 95–109). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wolch, J. R., Byrne, J., & Newell, J. P. (2014). Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities “just green enough”. Landscape and Urban Planning, 125, 234–244. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.01.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Environmental DesignUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of Urban Studies and PlanningCalifornia State University, NorthridgeLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations