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The North-South Dialogue on Child-Friendly Environments - a Follow -Up

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Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Geography
  • Psychology

Abstract

At IAPS 17 in A Coruna, Spain, a symposium was arranged where research groups from Northern and Southern Europe met for the first time to discuss the concept of child-friendly environments from different perspectives – from different discipline perspectives as well as from different cultural perspectives. Because of the latter, the symposium was called North-South Dialogue. The unique character of that symposium was that it started a dialogue among the researchers that had consequences for the gathering of data in the research projects. The iaps 18 symposium has as its aim to discuss the comparability of the research projects from the point of view of data collected as well as from an intercultural perspective. In contrast to much cross-cultural research, done by researchers from one country in another country, this research is carried out simultaneously in the different countries by native researchers. The dialogue is not only on data as such but also on how we as researchers in our different research traditions and cultural background understand to do research on the child-friendliness of environments. This means that we will pay attention to the cultural context of which we as researchers are a part. Our data on the environmental situations for 12-year old children in similar urban and suburban areas make it possible to discuss the following questions: what are child-friendly environments, how can children’s interests be safe-guarded and how can children of this age participate in planning? The notion of child-friendliness is important to discuss also from a policy perspective as it now seems to be about to give away to another notion, “human-friendly”. What consequences might that change of notions have for children, for planning and for research? The scientific perspectives will be multidisciplinary; environmental psychology, community psychology, education, human geography and landscape architecture.

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