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
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Author
Zhan Goosen, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
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Abstract
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.
Keywords
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
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