A research study born from frequent references made to open spaces and its designs leads many to associate responsibility for these areas to local councils, designers, draughts persons, architects, and planners. Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in planning, designing, or sharing an opinion about a particular open space. Children and young people are no exception and should not be excluded. This research looks into the participation of children and young people in neighborhood planning, addressing citizens’ needs and promoting active involvement within the local community from an early age, with the intention to empower and motivate children and young people to voice their perspectives and concerns regarding their neighborhood. In June 2021, this project produced and published the research ‘Fil-Beraħ, Children’s Use of Public Open Spaces’, authored by Dr Bernadine Satariano, Dr Maureen Cole, Prof Valerie Sollars and Dr Sandra Hili Vassallo, assisted by Ms Xanthe’ Schembri. A toolkit of the research project with the methodology used has also been published in both Maltese and English. This tool kit promotes participatory research and focuses on gathering insights about children’s views and experiences, about outdoor space within their own locality and the diverse child-led methods adopted to collect data. This tool kit is intended to serve as a pilot to assist others wishing to carry out similar projects where children can participate in exploring the use, planning and design of public open spaces.
A digital copy of this research and toolkit can be downloaded ‘here’.