Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Children’s mobility in new sustainable communities: design, traffic and risk

Christensen, P. and Hadfield-Hill, S. (2012) Children’s mobility in new sustainable communities: design, traffic and risk. Paper presented to: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, New York, 24–28 February 2012. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract: Academic, policy and media concerns regarding children and young people often highlight their limited use of outdoor environments. The data presented in this paper, from a large ethnographic study, show that children and young people living in new 'sustainable communities' are spending a significant amount of their time (after school and at weekends) playing outside and moving around their neighbourhood. Sustainable communities present opportunities to analyse and explore children's mobility in a new form of urban environment. We will show how children and young people's mobility is enabled through the design of the built environment, including self-contained road networks within these communities. However, the paper will also address the difficulties for children's safe mobility arising from such designs. These include children's comprehension of spatial layout, their traffic awareness and the risks associated with the often unfinished nature of these communities as well as their urban design and layout. For example, children have to navigate 'shared surfaces'. These have been designed to encourage pedestrians and cyclists to have equal priority with vehicles, and thus foster a benign relationship between the motor vehicle and the child human. In reality they present situations where children are at risk. A further complexity for children is that urban traffic knowledge created inside the new community cannot easily be adapted to rules for mobility outside this environment, where the mobile body has a different relationship with the vehicle.
Uncontrolled Keywords: children, mobility, sustainable community, traffic, risk
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ767 Children. Child development
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT101 Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology > HT206 Children in cities
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT51 Human settlements. Communities
Creators: Christensen, P and Hadfield-Hill, Sophie
Funders or Sponsors: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Grant Reference Number: RES-062-23-1549
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > The Centre for Children and Youth
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Social Sciences (to 2016)
Research Centres > Centre for Psychology and Social Sciences
Date: February 2012
Date Type: Presentation
Event Title: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting
Event Dates: 24–28 February 2012
Event Location: New York
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item