Cities People Love website has an article about prioritising children over cars. Designing streets to actively encourage play is a growing trend in Europe. The concept, known as ‘Woonerf’ was originally implemented in the Netherlands and Belgium. It aims to equally balance the needs of drivers with those of pedestrians, cyclists and children at play.
Signage, low speed limits and traffic calming bumps and bends are part of the solution. Temporary street closures are another strategy to encourage play. It’s a collective responsibility to ensure the safety of children playing.
Natalia Krysiak’s article is titled, Cities for Play: Designing streets that prioritise children over cars. In one example, she describes the design of the Hackney Play Street which has rocks, logs and a cubby house. The picture below clearly shows the seating, a log and tree plantings following the route of the footpath.
Krysiak says we should start questioning why the convenience of drivers is prioritised over the health and wellbeing of children in street design. After all, placing children’s play at the heart of neighbourhood design benefits everyone.
There are links to other publications, one of which is Designing Child-Friendly High Density Neighbourhoods.
The 1000 Play Streets Toolkit is a great Australian resource. The Toolkit is specifically designed with advice for local governments.