Yucel C. Severcan: Children's Views on Child-Friendly Environments in Different Neighborhoods

Yucel Severcan is an assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey. He received his bachelor's degree in city and regional planning from METU in 2003, a master's degree in urban design from METU in 2006, and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Denver's design and planning program in 2012. Between the years of 2012 and 2014, he was a lecturer at the University of Colorado Boulder and a research affiliate with the Children, Youth, and Environments Center for Community Engagement. His research focuses on various topics including sustainable urban design and urban regeneration, industrial heritage conservation, healthy community development, and participatory planning and design. His most recent articles have been published in the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research and International Planning Studies.

Abstract:

This presentation investigates children's understanding of the concept of child-friendly environments and whether they view their neighborhoods as child-friendly. In this context, Severcan focuses on the results of a child-friendly city project, which was conducted with approximately 240 nine-to-11-year-old children living in six neighborhoods of Istanbul. The selected sites varied in morphology, such as street layout, block size and density, and level of urban redevelopment. Data was obtained from workshops, photo-voice, mapping, focus groups, and nominal group activities. Children's responses to the question of what they find to be a child-friendly neighborhood have been analyzed according to Horelli's normative dimensions for environmental child-friendliness. The results of this study aim to contribute to a better understanding of how to create good places that are actively used, and loved and cared for by children. The results also indicate a need for change in current urban planning and design practices.