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Tema - Architect and Society
Tema - arquitectura – niños/as
Tema - Education
1

“La planificación para las diversas fases de la vida”, Urbanistica, 1,1945, pp. 7-11.

2

Streets, 1949-53. These portraits of everyday life, taken from streets that are always bursting with children, had a major impact on the creative approach and urban philosophy of Alison and Peter Smithson.

3

Children and the city, 1952. In 1950, Adams started a project called “Our City” within the Chicago Laboratory School. He aimed to educate his students on how cities function, and put forward an articulated theory on how children interpret and interact with cities.

4

You can read an article on freedom of movement and urban knowledge among children aged 8-11 at: http://www.lacittadeibambini.org/spagnolo/pubblicazioni/articoli.htm

5

Lefaivre, H. El derecho a la ciudad. Capitán Swing libros, S.L. Madrid, 2017, pp. 125-126.

6

For further information regarding cities that are part of the “La ciudad de los niños” network: http://www.lacittadeibambini.org/spagnolo/rete/rete.htm

7

In large cities such as Roma and Palermo, action began with the design of school routes within certain districts. In 2001, a workshop called “Rome, the city of children” was inaugurated and included 42 primary school counsellors representing the 19 districts of the city.

8

Appleyard,D. Livable Streets, 1981.

9

Mosquera Lorenzo, X.C. et allí, Pontevedra. Outra mobilidade, outra cidade. Pons Seguridad Vial S.L. Madrid, 2015

10

Pontevedra has received numerous awards for the effectiveness of its urban policy

Tonuccio or when educators talk about cities

Cities are a collective, cultural, and social construction inspiring thought among a diverse range of disciplines throughout history. After the Second World War, authors such as Lewis Mumford,1 photographers such as Nigel Henderson,2 professors such as Olga Adams3 and leading architects such as Aldo Van Eyck dealt with an issue that had been hardly ever considered until then: children in urban environments. Years later, in 1978, Colin Ward penned one of the most important texts on the matter, The Child in the City, where he investigated the use that children make of urban space and how cities can improve or worsen the children’s living conditions. When educator and professor Francesco Tonucci published his book La ciudad de los niños (The city of children) in 1996, however, something had changed. Children could no longer go out into the streets by themselves. For the first time in human childhood, the primacy of free play, the freedom of unsupervised enjoyment, was lost and it fell upon pedagogy to assess the consequences on their development.4

Twenty years have now gone by. Nevertheless, the book’s urban analysis remains valid: specialisation and compartmentalisation lead to marginalising “vulnerable” citizens (the elderly, the disabled, children…) from urban life. Urban centres are becoming increasingly emptier and more gentrified. There is a lack of security, automobiles prevail over pedestrians, and public space is perceived as commodity. As a matter of fact, most of these issues are discussed in Lefaivre’s Right to the city. Human beings have specific needs that are not met by commercial and cultural establishments, and that urban planners do not particularly take into consideration. We are referring to the need to create, to work,[…] to imagine and to play. […] Would these not be some specific urban requirements for places that are well thought-out, places of simultaneity and encounter, places where exchange would replace currency value, trade and profit?5

As a means to improve our cities, Tonucci proposed that we take children into consideration when making decisions and drafting proposals regarding urban areas. This would give rise to an independent outlook on public space, thus ensuring that economic factors do not prevail over other values. Tonucci also believes it appropriate to set childhood as the new urban yardstick, because “a city that is suitable for children is suitable for everyone”.

The suggestion he put forward in his book is eminently practical, and it became remarkably popular in Italy, Spain and Latin America, particularly in Argentina.6 Tonucci observed that it would be more easily applicable in small cities of up to 150,000 inhabitants.7 In Spain, Pontevedra (82,549 inhabitants) spearheaded this project. Its success is largely linked to how decisively and boldly one of the most complex aspects of the proposal was tackled. An urban mobility plan had streets’ social and recreational function take precedence over traffic. Strategies such as traffic calming or disappearing traffic and studies such as Livable Streets8 were the main drivers of the decisions made. Traffic was reduced as much as possible by constraining the circulation of vehicles. Speed was capped at 30km/h by means of urban design. Parking was time-regulated. Pavements were expanded. And finally, several streets and squares were reclaimed for pedestrians and made fully accessible.9 Thanks to this friendly environment, children have now taken against to the streets and are able to play in the city squares and go to school unaccompanied. A Children’s Council was established for them to make suggestions and to channel their opinions on their city. This ensures that their voice is heard. Once their day is over, however, they go back home and enjoy a right that should never be lost, the ability to play freely.10

Notas de página
1

“La planificación para las diversas fases de la vida”, Urbanistica, 1,1945, pp. 7-11.

2

Streets, 1949-53. These portraits of everyday life, taken from streets that are always bursting with children, had a major impact on the creative approach and urban philosophy of Alison and Peter Smithson.

3

Children and the city, 1952. In 1950, Adams started a project called “Our City” within the Chicago Laboratory School. He aimed to educate his students on how cities function, and put forward an articulated theory on how children interpret and interact with cities.

4

You can read an article on freedom of movement and urban knowledge among children aged 8-11 at: http://www.lacittadeibambini.org/spagnolo/pubblicazioni/articoli.htm

5

Lefaivre, H. El derecho a la ciudad. Capitán Swing libros, S.L. Madrid, 2017, pp. 125-126.

6

For further information regarding cities that are part of the “La ciudad de los niños” network: http://www.lacittadeibambini.org/spagnolo/rete/rete.htm

7

In large cities such as Roma and Palermo, action began with the design of school routes within certain districts. In 2001, a workshop called “Rome, the city of children” was inaugurated and included 42 primary school counsellors representing the 19 districts of the city.

8

Appleyard,D. Livable Streets, 1981.

9

Mosquera Lorenzo, X.C. et allí, Pontevedra. Outra mobilidade, outra cidade. Pons Seguridad Vial S.L. Madrid, 2015

10

Pontevedra has received numerous awards for the effectiveness of its urban policy

Autor:
Es arquitecta por la ETSA de Sevilla (2003) y Máster en Arquitectura y Patrimonio Histórico (2008). Primer premio por su fin de carrera en la XXI Edición del Premio Dragados. Se forma en el estudio de Ricardo Alario, con quien comparte actualmente actividad profesional . En 2011 funda junto a Tibisay Cañas, Laura Organvídez, Ana Parejo y Sara Parrilla cuartocreciente arquitectura, una iniciativa creada con el objetivo de mejorar los tres espacios principales en los que se desarrolla la niñez (casa, escuela y ciudad) a través de la investigación, los talleres de arquitectura, la realización de proyectos y el diseño de objetos. Actualmente desarrolla un tesis sobre el espacio de juego exterior en la infancia, dirigida por Ángel Martínez García-Posada. Ha escrito y presentado diversas comunicaciones sobre el playground y el juego del niño en la ciudad.

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