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              Workshop 2
    Safety and attitudes in children &
 adolescents outdoor play environments

• Examine the role of creative planning and design
  solutions of public outdoor environments, which allow
  young people to play and move free from the risk of
  accidents, traffic ‘killer car’, and/or ‘stranger dangers’
• Discuss the effects of disruptive and violent behaviour on
  young people’s use of outdoor public spaces.
• Analyse the effects of play equipment and playground
  injury risk
• Examine public, local government, police’s attitudes to
  young people’s play and PA in outdoor public places
• Examine the role of creative planning and design
  solutions of public outdoor environments, which allow
  young people
  Concerns about young people’s
   shrinking play environments
• Fundamental changes appear to have
  occurred in patterns of young people’s
  outdoor play, which is now primarily
  centred on the home
• Several factors contributed to the decline
  of outdoor play opportunities
   Parental concerns about young
          people’s safety
• The most significant influence on children’s
  access to independent play is not the level of
  public provision of play facilities but parental
  anxieties about children’s safety and the
  changing nature of childhood (Valentine and
  McKendrick 1997)
• Young people’s reduced access to these
  outdoor spaces, is often related to parents' fears
  of traffic, criminality
            Climate of fear?
• 'Poor Children 'Prisoners' of Fearful Parents’
  (The Independent, 22 August, 1995 p. 6)
• “Childhood over the past 20 years seems to
  have become as fraught with danger as it always
  has been for the young of other species. There
  are predators about, ready to molest and kill”
  ('The Death of Childhood' The Times, 1 August,
  1995 p. 13.)
• Children at risk (From traffic)- a tale of two
  schools (BBC News 13/10/04)
        Climate of violence?
• New play area closed after fire Vandals have
  attacked a children's playground in
  Liverpool, just a day after it opened
• Sensory garden placed in jeopardy (6/05/05)
• Thugs wreck children's playground (20/05/04)
• Wreckers' spree closes play areas (27/06/04)
     Hostility to youth activities
• Youth activities, such as skateboarding are
  increasingly under threat (£20 on-the-spot fine
  has been introduced if you are found skating
  anywhere in the Square Mile of the City of
  London) (CABE Space-b 2004)
• "This will cause significant damage to the natural
  habitat. There is already an ugly playground on
  the common. This development will suburbanise
  it further” (BBC News 30/03/05).
• Hostility to youth activities increased with
  Antisocial behaviour Orders
   Decline of play environments
• Playgrounds and schoolyards consist of standardised
  commercial equipment where safety rather than play
  value is the dominant criterion
• Some authorities want community councils or residents'
  associations to take over responsibility of managing play
• Learning Through Landscapes claims that only 30% of
  the potential of England's school grounds is being used,
  with grounds either little used, badly managed or
• Consequently, many playgrounds are now so dull that
  children reject them in favour of more exciting and
  potentially dangerous places
        Some consequences
• Decline in young people’s quality of life
• Lack of physical activities and rising
• Decline of geographic skills
Addressing these concerns?
  Implications of improved design
         and management
• The best way to combat anti-social
  behaviour in parks and open spaces is
  through good design, management and
  maintenance (CABE 2005)
• Improving school grounds and protecting
  playing fields reduces bad behaviour
  among pupils
• 73% reported "significant improvements
  in behaviour" and 64% said that a
  greener environment meant less bullying
  (BBC News 11/06/03)
 Emerging technology as a safety
 net for parents’ and their children

• Advent of mobile technologies, with their
  associated data about location and calling
  behaviour, made it possible to know
  exactly where young people are and what
  they are doing
• Facilitated surveillance and monitoring by
  parents, police and peers
   Challenging research issues
• Difficulties in designing outdoor environments
  that suit a range of age groups in the light of
  intimidation and violence between different age
  groups or social groups of children versus youth
• Roles of appropriate design, management, and
  maintenance of outdoor spaces as facilitators or
  inhibitors of play
• Roles of education and technology in the
  reduction of fear and anxiety arising from the
  perception of risks

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