Author Tim Gill on Creating Child Friendly Cities in City Design and Podcast


Author Tim Gill on Creating Child Friendly Cities in City Design and Podcast

In this episode of Design and the City – a reSITE podcast on how to make cities more livable – academic, writer and consultant Tim Gill, author of Urban Playground: How Child-Friendly Planning and Design Can Save Cities, speaks the importance of designing cities that can promote play and empower children, as a means of creating inclusive urban environments suitable for all ages and abilities. Gill advocates for improving children’s daily freedom and discusses his research into ideas and principles that would make neighborhoods rich in experiences and possibilities, which he defines as child-friendly urban planning.

ReSITE – a global nonprofit working to improve the urban environment, launched the second installment of its Design and the City podcast earlier this year, with previous guests including Winy Mass, Thomas Heatherwick and Gary Hustwit. Covering a wide range of interdisciplinary topics, conversations on the podcast ranged from issues such as surveillance and security to how to tackle gentrification in growing cities.

Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE

In a conversation with Martin Barry and Alexandra Siebenthal, Tim Gill discusses how urban environments can nurture exploration and creativity as essential parts of childhood. The three discuss differences in parenting methods, moving to a more controlled and supervised childhood, advocating for more autonomy for children to explore and understand the environment in a non / prescriptive way. Gill identifies automotive culture as one of the main factors decreasing the freedom of children in cities and creating a hostile environment for their development.


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Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE

Gill argues that focusing on children helps define an urban planning framework with a clear vision for the future. He sees a range of actors, from parents and teachers, to town planners and policy makers, taking a greater interest in creating a built environment that meets the needs of children and speaks of examples of such actions from around the world. whole. Through the podcast, Gill traces the origins, advantages and shortcomings of play areas, discusses the lack of mobility and difficult access of children to equipment designed for them and discusses the impact of this lack of autonomy on children reaching adolescence.

Courtesy of reSITE
Courtesy of reSITE



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