Journal article

Creating child-friendly high-rise environments: beyond wastelands and glasshouses

8 Oct 2012

Melbourne, like many cities around the world, is in the midst of reshaping its central city landscape. However, there are concerns, particularly in Australia, that “contemporary strategic planning has almost become child-blind, with the new higher density centres being built essentially for the childless in mind” (Randolph, 2006, p. 5). The ‘Vertical Living Kids’ research project interviewed children aged 8–12 to elicit their views on local environments. Public housing children had high levels of independent mobility, but low levels of satisfaction with local play spaces. The private housing children, in contrast, had low levels of independent mobility but enjoyed a much greater range of attractions. Based on a typology developed by Kytta (2004), the public housing children are characterised as living in ‘wastelands’ and the private housing children are characterised as living in ‘glasshouses’. The authors suggest urban planning policies that might address both types of environments.

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