ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Urban Development, Faculty of Civil, Art and Architecture, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.



- The right to the city is a human right that concerns citizens’ possession of the city and their participation in city affairs, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion.
- Children are a group of citizens who should be considered in urban planning due to their special physical and psychological conditions.
- The four-part model of “Child’s Right to the City” includes the urban governance system, social inclusion, spatial access, diversity and vitality, and relevant components.
- The components of the concept of the child’s right to the city are effective in improvement of the quality of urban spaces for children.
The right to the city is an issue of social, political, and legal nature that, based on the concept of citizenship rights, demands a set of rights for all city residents to use urban life in a transparent, fair manner. Urban spaces occupy a major part of the time and space of people’s daily lives, and they have young audiences who are much more influenced by environmental factors than adults. Therefore, a part of the function of an urban space should be assigned to children, which makes it particularly important to properly design urban spaces for children as citizens and future builders of the city. The presence of children in the public space of a city provides them with appropriate experiences, including acquaintance with urban geography, appropriate social relations with peer groups, appropriate physical mobility in a wider space than the limited space of the home, enhancement of the sense of belonging to the place, city, and neighborhood, and acquisition of identity through the sense of place. Since children have psychological needs that are much more complex than biological and physical needs, the design of urban spaces taking into account the psychology of development and children’s mental characteristics, health, and safety is effective in fostering creativity and strengthening the sense of cooperation and children’s education. Despite the global attention paid to children’s issues and useful international movements, there is less concern in our country for children’s specific issues in the urban arena, and children in cities are faced with many special problems in terms of age and physical and mental conditions, such as non-observance of basic rights, lack of security and safety, insufficient facilities and spaces for activities and games, and consequent lack of feeling of belonging to the space. As residents of the city, children’s right thereto has been neglected in many cases by decision-makers, planners, and even other citizens. Due to the dominance of the ageist culture, children are always ignored in planning and decision-making, and they are left out as isolated, unqualified people in an understanding of their priorities and needs.
Theoretical Framework
The right to the city can be defined and claimed for all its residents. It emphasizes two main rights. The right of allocation is defined for anyone who lives in an urban space on a daily basis, regardless of their nationality, gender, and age, and the right of participation is used to apply the opinions and mental ideals of space users. Children and teenagers are also daily users of urban spaces, although the type of space use by children and teenagers is different due to their age conditions and the restrictions on their independence. However, their right to the city and urban spaces should be recognized, and methods should be provided for their participation in definition and change of the urban space.
The purpose of this article is to examine the concept of the right to the city and to identify the factors that are effective in improvement of the appropriateness of the urban public spaces for the presence of children. For this purpose, both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. Since both types of analysis are interpreted sequentially, the present article falls in the category of sequential-exploratory research. For analysis of the qualitative data, meta-synthesis and Grounded Theory were used, along with the NVivo software, employed to code the data. The data collection method involved documentary research and semi-structured interviews. The multiple regression test was used to investigate the relationships and the level of support between the components of the child’s right to the city and the quality of urban spaces.
Results and Discussion
In this research, the urban space quality index was considered as a dependent variable, and the components of the child’s right to the city (urban governance, social inclusion, access to spaces, and diversity and vitality) were regarded as independent variables. On that basis, the urban governance component involves 35.5% of the improvement made in the quality of the urban space in order to realize the child’s right to the city, and the other components include social inclusion, spatial accessibility, and diversity and vitality, with 31.2%, 28.9%, and 14.6%, respectively. Moreover, the influence of each of the sub-components of the child’s right to the city on the quality of urban spaces and the corresponding correlation were investigated separately.
Based on the four-part conceptual model, the four main zones of the concept of the child’s right to the city include urban governance, social inclusion, spatial accessibility, and diversity and vitality, which make up four consecutive steps to the final goal of the research based on frequency. The sub-themes exhibit a hierarchical structure. In the zone of diversity and vitality, for example, it can be inferred according to the concepts of the right to recreation, safe spaces versus security spaces, social interactions, and collective life that concern for creativity should be realized so that the environment can be considered memorable to be capable of completing the above zone.


Main Subjects

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