Streets of Lima become a meeting place for early childhood

Ambitious plans are being drawn up for the introduction of more child-friendly public spaces in Peru’s capital, Lima.

Jorge Muñoz, the city’s new mayor, has thrown his weight behind the initiative, which is part of the acclaimed Urban95 programme run by the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Munoz’s exciting vision includes plans for the city’s youngest residents, and already new urban programmes have been created where the criteria set out by Urban95 helps to shape the collection of data and establish guidelines for construction projects.

Plans for the city’s youngest residents

One such project, PUCU, is taking place in the coastal district of Pucusana, and encourages diverse forms of recreation for young children and their carers in public spaces. The area’s children walk every day and so PUCU aims to awaken the curiosity of discovery while walking along local routes.

As part of the research, the district examined the key needs of all families with young children, before incorporating a pedagogical vision of caring and quality, while still respecting the area’s distinct identity. The PUCU Design Guide (only available in Spanish) shares Pucusana’s insights on how to rethink urban public spaces and design them to better respond to the development and growth needs of young children.

The guide also establishes a strong connection between urban design and planning to the needs of society, and in doing it creates a strong case for local leaders and communities to take a systemic view of the current environment. The guide’s ideas are also supported by case studies from Pucusana, and also builds on the the work of several public space production workshops organised by Urban95 in six different districts of Lima last year.

Connects urban design and planning for society

As well as the district of Pucusana, the city of Lima and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the guide has also involved multidisciplinary professionals from the Coordinadora de la Ciudad en Construcción (CCC), Alto Peru and SUMBI, as well as private sector, civil society and other independent professionals in Pucusana.

Urban95 is now operating in a host of cities worldwide, including Tel Aviv, Bogota, Istanbul, Pune.  Click here for more information.

Author: Simon Weedy

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