ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Urban Design Graduate of Kurdistan University

2 University of Kurdistan- Department of Urban Planning and Design

3 Postdoc researcher at the University of Kurdistan


Despite the significant impact of physical activity and mobility on children’s health and well-being, such activities are declining in neighborhoods and residential areas. One way to address this issue is to highlight the environmental characteristics that encourage children to move and engage in physical activity in their neighborhoods. Studying a collection of the characteristics from the children's perspective requires further study, even though previous research has examined them on a case-by-case basis or in a few instances. With the participation of 450 children (43.8% girls and 56.2% boys) living in the neighborhoods of District 10 of Mashhad City Therefore, this research collected their opinions on a set of 28 environmental characteristics extracted from the literature. Finally, using exploratory factor analysis, the children's responses were classified and redefined into final factors. The findings indicate that the children’s physical activity and movement in their neighborhoods are influenced by seven factors: 1) parental permission to be outside, 2) safe and enjoyable pedestrian routes, 3) social safety through happy and welcoming spaces, 4) environmental affordances usable in day and night, 5) legibility through symbolic buildings and shops in ground floor level, 6) diverse environments and elements for exploration and adventure, 7) and safety during free movement and playing with equipment. As a recurring theme in each factor, children’s desire to engage in recreational and playful activities with friends highlights their different perspectives on physical activity from adults. By providing joyful settings for children’s independent presence and activity in open neighborhood spaces, health policymakers, and urban planners/designers can create supportive neighborhoods that foster children's physical activity and movement.


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