Children on the Terrace by Liliana Bravo, Journal

During our previous class, we discussed the importance of placemaking in urban planning and what it meant to actively participate in the building of one’s community. Placemaking is a valuable technique that allows locals the opportunity to voice their opinions on what they think is best for their neighborhoods. It is an integral part that should never be left out when designing a new place, since these people will be the ones actually living the consequences daily. For our next class, the readings focused on children and the role they can play in restructuring their community. Over the decades, children began to spend less time in the streets as a result of a lack of safety and trust within the neighborhood. This has led to them spending more time indoors, where they are unable to experience the outside world and learn “street smarts”. In my experience, the children who were still able to play outside  grew up to be seen as troublemakers by their neighbors. Their definition of being a ‘good’ child meant coming straight back from school and not playing outdoors unless one was accompanied by an adult. However, this labeling was wrong. Instead of causing trouble, these teenagers were more aware of what was going on around them than did others, including myself. By taking away the outdoors as a place to explore and learn, children are left without any desire to be outside. As a result, they can become alienated from their environment and put little effort in improving their communities. For this, I believe the terrace in Borgo Bello can be used for children rather than for adults. Or better yet, for both children and adults. We can find ways in which we can incorporate both age groups in a safe and friendly environment. I do not yet have an idea of how this can work, but it would be great to have different age groups interacting in one place.

children playing outside

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