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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

A Lawful Space for Play: Conceptualizing Childhood in Light of Local Regulations

Kylin, Maria; Bodelius, Stina


The number of children living in Swedish urban areas is increasing at the same time as spaces for children's everyday movement and play are diminishing. In response, the government recently commissioned national regulations and guidelines for planning and designing children's outdoor environments. The effectiveness of the guidelines and methods for assessment of children's places are under debate. This paper presents a case study of a local municipality's child space guidelines. We argue that it is crucial to develop qualitative standards for spatial distribution, design aspects and play values in order to plan and design inclusive, child-friendly cities. Nonetheless, quantifiable, measurable standards for children's designated, allocated places may provide a means of safeguarding children's rights in contemporary political and spatial planning contexts.

Published in

Children, Youth and Environments
2015, Volume: 25, number: 2, pages: 86-106