STREET SPACE AS PLAYGROUND: INVESTIGATING CHILDREN’S CHOICES
Free (open access)
Volume 1 (2006), Issue 3
353 - 362
A. GOSPODINI & V. GALANI
Streets represent the most common, extensive and thereby important element of public open space in cities. However, during the last four decades children have had decreasing presence in the streets; also, fewer streets are serving as unspecialised playgrounds for children. This paper attempts to describe and interpret this phenomenon from the point of view of spatial structure and morphology; it investigates the syntactic and morphological properties of streets that may have an impact on children’s choices. For surveying children’s preferences, empirical fieldwork has been carried out in Igoumenitsa, a small town in northwest Greece. The fieldwork is now expanding to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. For the analysis of the syntactic properties of street space, the research has applied ‘syntactic analysis of spatial configuration’ as introduced by Bill Hillier (UCL). For the analysis of the morphological properties of street space, the research introduces a methodology based on the form and meaning of the boundaries shaping the street space. The research outcome points that the syntactic and morphological properties of streets are critical factors controlling children’s choices.
children, city, patterns of use, public open spaces.