Children's Views about Child Friendly City: A Case Study from Izmir

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Gökmen H., Tasci B.

MEGARON, vol.11, no.4, pp.469-482, 2016 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/megaron.2016.20981
  • Journal Name: MEGARON
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.469-482
  • Keywords: Child-friendly city, child-friendly environment, children's rights, Izmir-Turkey, participation, CITIES
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Due to the effects of industrialization, urbanization, and the corresponding environmental degradation of this century, children cannot be sufficiently involved in urban life. A good city is child-centered and child friendly in all aspects. Recently, studies concerning the importance of child participation have been carried out in order to design child friendly cities. Within this context, this study sought the views of children about the city via research conducted in three different districts of Izmir. Open-ended questions and drawing tasks were among the tools used to obtain their opinions. The case study had two stages: The first stage was conducted in two schools within the central city of Izmir: one with a low socio-economic profile, and other with high socio-economic data. There are no projects or future district municipality plans related to the issue of a child friendly city in the areas surrounding these schools. The aim was to examine the impact of socio-economic data on the perceptions of children. The second stage of the study took place in Seferihisar, a peripheral district outside the center of Izmir. Known for its vision of being a Slow City, Seferihisar Municipality considered the issue of being a child friendly city in its strategic plan and accomplished various related projects. The impact of municipal projects on the perceptions of children in a mid-level group were examined, irrespective of socio-economic status. Comparing and interpreting the results of this dual research on children's views about a child friendly city paves the way for an evaluation of children's views and will enable Izmir to take the first step to fulfilling the criteria of being a child friendly city. The findings of the study are important data for the future, and will be of interest to architects and planners, in particular.