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Research and Articles

Interesting reading we’ve come across linked to childhood, play, community, shared use of public space and anything else that relates to children playing out more.

Health and Wellbeing

Outdoors and Active: Delivering public health outcomes by increasing children's active travel and outdoor play

This evidence briefing was published in March 2015 by the University of Bristol at a conference for professionals working in public health, play services and education. The ‘Outdoors and Active’ conference showcased research funded by the World Cancer Research Fund and the Department of Health underpinned by new evidence from the university’s Personal and Environmental Associations with Children’s Health (PEACH) project and the Street Play project. The Street Play project is led by Play England in partnership with Playing Out, London Play and the University of Bristol and is a national project which aims to activate street play in communities across England. Read the briefing here

Childhood and Play

No Fear

Tim Gill (2007), No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Free download

Our Children Deserve Better

Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2012- Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays, Department of Health – including a case study of Playing Out (chapter 7, page 11). Download it here

Playday 2013

Play England (2013) Playday 2013  Opinion Poll Results

A UK-wide opinion poll was conducted to support and inform the Playday 2013 Playful places campaign. Results reveal that unwelcoming communities are stopping children playing out as much as they would like in the streets and areas where they live. Read more here

Making it our place

Josie Gleave (2010), Making it our place: Community views on Children’s Play, Play England

Research for Playday 2010 finds that children have less freedom to play in their communities than previous generations and concludes a shift in attitudes towards children and young people is needed for them to become valued and active citizens in our communities. Download it here

Word on the Street

Amanda Henshall and Lauren Lacey (2007), Word on the street – children and young people’s views on using local streets for play and informal recreation, Play England. Download it here

Natural Childhood

Stephen Moss (2012), Natural Childhood, National Trust. This report argues that we as a nation, and especially our children, are exhibiting the symptoms of a modern phenomenon known as ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’. It looks at what this disorder is costing, why it’s proving so difficult to reverse, and gathers current thinking on what might be done to eliminate it. Download it here

Children’s Rights and Adults’ Wrongs

Mayer Hillman (2006), Children’s Rights and Adults’ Wrongs, Children’s Geographies, Vol. 4, No. 1, 61 –67. Download it here

The Overprotected Kid

Hanna Roisin (2014), The Overprotected Kid, The Atlantic Magazine.

Hanna Roisin’s realisation that her ten year old had never spent ten minutes without adult supervision set her thinking about how childhood had been stripped of independence.  Here she looks at a place that is challenging that – The Land adventure playground in north Wales. Read about it here

Shared Public Space, Traffic and Community

Street Reclaiming Strategies

Trine Fotel (2009), Marginalized or Empowered? Street Reclaiming Strategies and the Situated Politics of Children’s Mobilities, Geography Compass, Volume 3, Issue 3, pages 1267–1280.  Read it here

Can I Play Out?

Tim Gill (2007), Can I Play Out? Lessons from London Play’s Homezone Project, London Play Download it here

Containing Children

Roger Hart (2002), Containing children: some lessons on planning for play from New York City, Environment and Urbanization 2002 14: 135. A look at playground provision in New York and how what may be needed is not more playgrounds which segregate children from daily life, but a greater attempt to make neighbourhoods safe and welcoming for children, responding to their own preferences for free play close to home. Download it here

Reclaiming the Residential Street as Play Space

Paul J. Tranter and John W. Doyle (1996), Reclaiming The Residential Street As Play Space, International Play Journal 1996, 4, 91-97. Read it here

New York City: Streets Renaissance Campaign

New York City: Streets Renaissance Campaign

Streets As Places To Play – Reviving An Old New York City Tradition.  Part of the Play Matters Study of Best Practices in Children’s Play in the US  Download the report here

You can also find more research about the Playful City USA here