Negative Aspects Of Urban Designs

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Urban designs, particularly those focused on children neighbourhoods can provide opportunities to facilitate or hinder Auckland being a child-friendlier city. These areas are crucial to the health and well-being of children (Witten, Kearns & Carroll, 2015). Negative aspects of the urban environment such as high traffic levels, spatial segregation and safety concerns as well as parental entrapment and the exclusion of children needs in urban planning decision-making represent barriers to Auckland being a child-friendlier city. Conversely, the inclusion of child perceptions, the promotion of intergenerational spaces and enhancing road safety can provide opportunities for Auckland being a child-friendlier city.

The design and perceived safety
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The prevailing issue with city designs is that attention to children’s design needs is only considered in formally acknowledged ‘child’ places such as public parks, playgrounds, and school areas. In reality, children occupy a far more extensive range of places beyond these restricted allocation of ‘child specific’ spaces (Freeman & Tranter, 2011; Tranter, 2012 & Whitzman, Worthington & Mizrachi, 2010). A lack of recognition for the needs of children in the design of third spaces is demonstrated across several images (Group 1, Photograph 2; Group 1, Photograph 3; Group 1, Photograph 5; Group 2, Photograph 2 & Group 4, Photograph 3). They respectively depict the restrictions of apartment complexes for children, children exposure to liquor stores, to adult entertainment, segregation of a child play area within a shopping mall, and children exposures to homeless people on Queen street. Children’s fear of strangers, specifically homeless people in inner cities and their vulnerability to negative adult influences such as alcohol and sexuality promotion can constrain their independent mobility (Carroll, Witten Kearns & Donovan, 2015). Group 1, photograph 3, group 1, photograph 5 and group 4, photograph 3 illustrate that there is tension between creating child-friendly cities (putting children first) while preserving policies that celebrate diverse groups, namely in catering for children safety in places dominated by adult entertainment, homeless people, and alcohol use (Witten, Kearns, & Carroll). Group 2, photograph 2 shows the spatial segregation of areas dedicated to adult shopping and the small restricted play area for children play. However, building plans need to respect children’s rights to all

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