Valence of Urban Public Spaces: An Inquiry to Child-Friendly Neighborhoods

Felia Srinaga, Tangerang, INDONESIA

Childhood is the time to develop. Children grow rapidly: their cognitive, affective and their psychomotor. Since the beginning of adolescence (11 years old), children in Jakarta full of enthusiasm start to explore individually or with their peer group in urban public places. They get parent’s permit to go to public places or even go to school close to their neighborhoods without adult’s companion.

In Jakarta, children live in three types of neighborhood. They live in urban kampong, urban neighborhood and in real estate. Their urban public places; such as plazas and parks are designed according to adult’s or family’s (with kid’s) need and adult criteria. Adolescent in Jakarta prefer to go to mall or play along alleys or spaces between buildings.

This paper is conducted to identify the valence of urban public space of children and adolescent communities. These identifications areimportant to understand the trend of children in using urban public space. Many positive functions of urban public space such as a place for social interaction, leisure, recreation and cognitive development have not been utilized optimally to provide child-friendly neighborhoods and to increase the quality of their life.

By studying valences of urban public space of children in Jakara and how they use it, we can predict their preferences and motivation to go to there. Knowing this valences can increase the utilization of the urban space and finally can create child-friendly neighborhoods and healthy environment. This valences are realized in many activities they do. This paper also proposes some recommendations to create child-friendly neighborhood’s public places.

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