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From fun to function: PPGIS unlocks the power of play in cities

Image by Aline Dassel from Pixabay

Spaces for play in children’s daily-life are essential for their development. However, planning in most cities is limitedly aware of children’s needs for playable-spaces.

A new study explores a PPGIS (public participation geographic information system) -approach to identify the “Playscape-quality” of a city, offering insights for planners. Our approach involved 416 children in Mariwan\Iran. Using polygons instead of the conventional pinning-points, children digitally mapped their favourite-outdoor-places: two within their neighbourhood and two at the city-level, they mapped 1664 polygons.

For all places children answered a series of questions like the visit frequency. Furthermore, children were invited to geo-visualize the quality of their places.

For measuring the playscape-quality we developed two indicators. Highly-Appreciated-Places Index for Days (HAPiDAYS) and Sparkling Urban Blend index (SUBindex). HAPiDAYS assesses the influence of hotspots, in term of days, on children’s daily-routines and SUBindex quantifies overlapping highly-used-places with hotspots.

Drawn polygons cover 9.3% of Mariwan, highlighting 9 hotspots, with most of the 120 received Geo-visualizations corresponding to them. HAPiDAYS, representing 29 days-per-year, and SUBindex indicate a 24% overlap, both approved favourite-outdoors extend beyond children’s regular-daily-adventures.

This emphasizes that besides providing urban spaces for citizens, evaluating the influence of these spaces on users’ lives, (in this case children), should be considered from their own perspective.

This is an abstract of a study published in the Applied Geography scientific journal. The authors are Soran Mansournia, Frans J Sijtsma, Claire Freeman, Christina Ergler, Rezan Naqshbandi, Azadeh Pirzadeh, Femke Niekerk and Omid Vakili. It is republished here under Creative Commons Licensing guidelines.

Click here for the full study. 

Author: Guest author

1 comment op “From fun to function: PPGIS unlocks the power of play in cities”

Rez Na|03.04.24|07:34

As a researcher in the field of urban studies, I am very excited that this article focusing on the presence of children in the city has been published. Thank you for sharing this article, and best wishes to my friend Soran. I hope that all children in urban spaces do not have to do anything other than play.

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