The Planning and Development of Child-friendly Green Spaces in Urban South Africa
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 4, Issue 4-1, August 2015, Pages: 33-44
Received: Mar. 4, 2015; Accepted: Apr. 13, 2015; Published: May 27, 2015
Views 5474      Downloads 132
Zhan Goosen, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Article Tools
Follow on us
The impact that urban green spaces in urban environments have on the sustainability and quality of life of the residents is phenomenal [3,19,40]. The local reality in South Africa confirms that green spaces, specifically child-friendly green spaces, in urban environments are decreasing because of growing populations and increasing urbanization [34]. Preference is given to provide housing for a growing population, due to the impacts of urbanization, and the development and enhancement of green spaces are often neglected in this regard [30]. Although literature proofs the benefits and need for green spaces in urban areas (also in South Africa), the planning and development of these spaces do not realize in many instances, due to a lack of municipal priorities and funding, driven by the urgent need to provide housing, but also coupled with a lack of understanding of the benefits and importance of planning for green spaces or child-friendly green spaces in urban development. The planning and development of green spaces in the urban environment are investigated as part of this research, along with the benefits that such spaces can provide to communities by focusing on the aspect of child-friendliness. This study evaluated the planning and development of child-friendly spaces in the urban environment of the city of Durban, Republic of South Africa, confirming how ineffective the current child-friendly spaces are. Two international case studies are identified as best-practice cases, namely Mullerpier child-friendly public playground in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Kadidjiny Park in Melville, Australia. The aim was to determine how these international child-friendly spaces were planned and developed and to identify tools and planning approaches of the two international case studies that were used to accomplish the goal of providing successful child-friendly green spaces and how it can be implemented in South Africa. The policies and frameworks which influence the study area in Essenwood, Durban, were identified and analysed in order to establish whether or not the planning and development of child-friendly spaces is supported within the chosen area. This research concluded that child-friendly green spaces do however have a positive impact on the urban environment, caters for children’s needs and assist in their development and interaction with the natural environment, only if these spaces are maintained.
Child-Friendly Spaces, Green Spaces, Urban Area, Built Environment, Open Spaces
To cite this article
Zhan Goosen, The Planning and Development of Child-friendly Green Spaces in Urban South Africa, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Special Issue: Planning for Sustainable Communities: Green-Spaces in Rural Areas. Vol. 4, No. 4-1, 2015, pp. 33-44. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.s.2015040401.15
A coffee in the Park. 2013. Kadidjiny Park of access: 26 Mar. 2014.
ArchiTravel. 2013. Public Date of access: 10 Jul. 2014.
Atiqul, H.A.Q. & Shah, M.D. 2011. Urban green spaces and an integrated approach to sustainable environment. Journal of Environmental Protection, (2):601-608. Date of access: 10 Jul. 2014.
Berthelsen, T.C. 2012. Seven Ideas from Tokyo for child-friendly spaces. Date of access: 17 Feb. 2014.
Birnbaum, S., Farrell, K. & Katz, A. 2012. New York family: The 9 best water parks near Date of access: 11 Mar. 2014.
Brooker, L. &Woodhead, M. 2013. Early childhood in focus. The right to play. The Open University.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 29 Mar. 2014.
Carmona, M., Heath, T., Oc, T. &Tiesdell, S. 2003.Public places-Urban spaces. Massachusetts: Architectural Press.
City of Tshwane. 2005. Proposed Tshwane open space framework, (1): 1-135.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 8 Jul. 2014.
Coetzee, D. 2014. Child kinetics: Fine and gross motor activities for children [personal interview]. 24 Jul. 2014. Potchefstroom.
Commissioner for Children and Young People. 2011.Caring for the future growing up today: Building spaces and places for children and young people.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 17 Feb. 2014.
Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and The Presidency in partnership with the South African Cities Network. 2009. National Urban Development Framework.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 13 Aug. 2014.
Dewar, D. &Uytenbogaardt, S. R. 1995. Creating vibrant urban places to live: a primer. Cape Town: Headstart Developments.
Diederichs, N. & Roberts, D. 2002. Durban’s local agenda 21 programme: tackling sustainable development in a post-apartheid city. Environment & Urbanization, 14(1):189-201.
eThekwini Municipality. 2013. Integrated Development Plan.,d.d24. Date of access: 17 Mar. 2015.
eThekwini City Council. 2013. Spatial development framework of eThekwini.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 14 Mar. 2014.
Galvin, M. & Payne, SE. 2010. Bulwer Park Revitalization Strategy. Date of access: 20 Sep. 2014.
Government of South Australia: Department of Education and Children’s Services. 2012. Promoting Natural Outdoor Learning Environments.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 24 Jul. 2014.
Howard, A. 2006. What constitutes child friendly communities and how are they build?Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth. P1-57.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 28 Mar. 2014.
Levent, T.B., Vreeker, R. &Nijkamp, P. 2004.Multidimensional Evaluation of Green Spaces: a comparative study on European of access: 17 Feb. 2014.
Lynch, K &Hach, G. 1984. Site Planning. 3rd ed.Cambridge: The MIT Press.
Madanipour, A. 1996. Design of urban space: an inquiry into a socio-spatial process. England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
McAllister, C. 2008. Child friendly cities and land use planning: Implications for children’s health. Environments Journal, 35(3):45-56. Date of access: 2 Feb. 2014.
McConnachie, M.M. &Shackleton, C.M. 2010.Public green space inequality in small towns in South Africa. Date of access: 8 Jul. 2014.
McDonald, L. 2012. Belfast healthy cities: child friendly spaces.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 3 Apr. 2014.
Metropolitan Planning Council. 2008. Place making Chicago: A neighborhood guide to placemaking in Chicago. Four key qualities of a successful place. Date of access: 8 Mar. 2014.
Ministry of Agriculture and Land Affairs: Republic of South Africa. 2001. White Paper on Spatial Planning and Land Use Management. Date of access: 17 Mar. 2015.
Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform: Republic of South Africa. 2012. Spatial Planning and Land Use Managing Act.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 15 Aug. 2014.
Nordstörm, M. 2010. Children’s views on child-friendly environments in different geographical, cultural and social neighborhoods. Urban Studies, 47(3):514-528.,d.ZWU. Date of access: 3 Feb. 2014.
Parker, E. 2014. Proposals for the development of child-friendly spaces in urban areas [personal interview]. 10 Mar. 2014. Durban.
Prange, M. 2014. Urban Design tools to improve child-friendly green spaces [personal interview]. 14 Apr. 2014. Durban.
South Africa. 1996. Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 108 of 1996. Date of access: 17 Aug. 2014.
South Africa. 2005. Children’s Act 38 of 2005. Date of access: 17 Aug. 2014.
South Africa. 1998. National Sport and Recreation Act 110 0f 1998. Date of access: 17 Mar. 2015.
Statistics South Africa. 2013. Mid-year population estimates 2013. Date of access: 11 Feb. 2014.
The Presidency Republic of South Africa. 2006. National Spatial Development Perspective. Date of access: 13 Aug. 2014.
Thai Utsa, B., Puangchit, L., Kjelgren, R. &Arunpraparut, W. 2008. Urban green space, street tree and heritage large tree assessment in Bangkok. Thailand, Forestry and Urban Greening, 7(3):219-229. of access: 17 Feb. 2014.
Thomas, J. 2008. Child in the city. Date of access: 3 Feb. 2014.
Trancik, R. 1986. Finding lost space: theories of urban design. Canada: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
UNICEF. 2012. South Africa annual report: unite for children. Date of access: 16 Aug. 2014.
UrbSpace. 2010. Green spaces in urban areas. Date of access: 2 Apr. 2014.
Van Boxtel, E. &Korenman, K. 2013. My public How public is our public space these days? Date of access: 29 Apr. 2014.
Van den Berg. M. 2013. Rotterdam, city with a future: How to build a Child-friendly City. Date of access: 5 Mar. 2014.
Van Heerden, I.V. 2011. Many SA kids obese. Date of access: 12 Feb. 2014.
Wapperom, R. 2010. Rotterdam, city with a future: How to build a child-friendly city.Paper presented at the Child in the City Conference, Florence, 28 October. Date of access: 26 Mar. 2014.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186