UK government inquiry into children’s ‘play freedoms’ will hear new evidence

Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, and Westminster Bridge as seen from the south bank of the River Thames.

Experts on play and ‘the built environment’ will provide the next round of evidence to a UK government inquiry that is looking at ways to utilise better design processes to improve children’s lives.

Tim Gill, a leading advocate of children’s play rights and opportunities, and architect Dinah Bornat, a former design advocate to the Mayor of London will appear at the next session of the Children, Young People and the Built Environment Inquiry.

The inquiry, which is being chaired by a group of cross-party MPs on The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, last month heard arguments from key child-rights focused experts including Alice Ferguson, co-founder of Playing Out, and Professor Alison Stenning of Newcastle University, a leading proponent of the ‘play streets’ concept.

A large amount of written evidence has already been submitted to the committee, which was told that that children and young people want and need to get out and about, as a vital part of growing up happy and healthy’. Yet it acknowledged how ‘witnesses painted a picture where kids are gradually disappearing from our streets, parks and open spaces’.

The next session takes place on 26 February when, says the committee, it is likely to examine ‘what can be done through planning policy and the building of new homes to reverse this trend’. It will draw on historical insights and case studies from both the UK and abroad, provided by experts such as architects, planners and developers.

Tim Gill and Dinah Bornat will be giving evidence from 4pm, followed at around 5pm by Jonny Anstead, Director of the consultancy TOWN, Jo McCafferty, Director of Levitt Bernstein Architects and Sarah Scannell, Assistant Director of Planning at Birmingham City Council.

The sessions will be broadcast live via the UK Parliament website – click here for more information nearer the time.

Author: Simon Weedy

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