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An evaluation of the changing approaches to children's play spaces

Memik, N. Hayal
In the nineteenth century, specialization and segregation of land uses necessitated to identify formal spaces for child2s play activity in the cities. In the late nineteenth century, 11traditional playgrounds22 were provided for children. However, formally designed, spatially segregated play space brought its own problems itself. Rapid changes in the urban pattern and dominance of cars in the urban environment restricted the safe accessibility of children to such play spaces by themselves. Also, 11traditional playground22 has been criticized because of its inefficiency to answer the needs of children and to contribute to the continuity of play activity. Due to the inefficiency of 11traditional playgrounds22 for the continuity of 11play22, children prefer to establish their own informal play spaces, as it was before the introduction of formal ones. However, parental concerns regarding child2s safety in the urban environment restrict the use of outdoor play spaces, especially the residential street which is the oldest traditional informal play space. For these reasons, children2s play habits changed and children today are becoming more dependent to indoors. If child2s developmental needs are considered, the contribution of outdoor environment to the development of children should be reevaluated by making comparison between formal and informal play spaces. Regarding children2s needs and the contribution of outdoor environment to their development, some approaches have been developing and changing to design better play spaces. Thus, this thesis tries to clarify that what kind of approach would be efficient in order to provide permanent answers for the needs and rights of children and for the continuity of 11play22 in today2s urban pattern.