Including and Making Space for Children by Jimmy R

The readings for this week, about including children in city planning, really caught my attention and think they tie in very well with what we have been discussing in class. I think it is absolutely vital for children to have some sort of role in deciding what they want to see in their neighborhoods, after all, they are the future. I think it’s very interesting to see how over the years, children’s presence in the community has changed. Say, 40 years ago or so, children would literally be out in the street playing or just hanging out. There was no worry about safety because the sense of community was so strong and parents knew that they could trust others with their children if anything were to happen. However, today things are much different. Today, only a “bad” or irresponsible parent lets their child play in the street and it is expected that parents always have an eye on their children. This change is amazing to me because even in the safest areas, parents still don’t let their children wander and play about on their own in a place like the street.

I think these thoughts can be incorporated into the design of the spot in Borgo Bello because I’m certain this could be a good gathering and hang out spot for adults and children alike. It would be ideal that this spot creates an atmosphere that children can come down to on their own and feel comfortable. From what I have seen so far, it seems that children in Perugia do tend to be independent of their parents and not always with them. This means that there must already be a feeling of safety and trust among the community and I think this spot in Borgo Bello, if designed well, can add to that. We can create an atmosphere for not only children, but whole families to come and gather. Some of the things I envision going into this space include a grass area, many benches, and maybe a small playground for children. I don’t think that we should turn the whole space into a playground but by adding some swings or something like that for children, I think it would be a whole lot more inviting to whole families, as opposed to just a hang out space for teenagers and adults. But first, we must look to see what the community wants, including people of all age ranges.

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