Neighbourhoods and cities are usually planned from a grown-up’s perspective. Children have different needs towards their surroundings. The guideline “Auf Augenhöhe 1,20m” (“at eye level 1,20m”, i.e. at a child’s eye level) developed by the canton Basel-Stadt provides inputs for the conception, planning, implementation and operating of child-friendly spaces in the children’s living environment.
The city of Rorschach participated in a federal programme with the aim of creating attractive public spaces and strengthening the social cohesion in one neighbourhood. The creation of a neighbourhood office and a neighbourhood meeting point as well as the transformation of two streets into encounter zones proved very successful. The residents of the neighbourhood developed a sense of affiliation, ownership and solidarity.
Because of a new community initiative in Mumbai the citizens get the chance to reclaim public spaces which are occupied by cars, motorcycles, hawkers and illegal encroachments. On Sundays there are no cars allowed on one 6.5 km stretch to the north of the old centre of the city between 7 and 11am. The local people come out on the streets and claim the street with bikes, skateboards, yoga mats and footballs. Moreover the children have the opportunity to play outside and the seniors can enjoy some board games.
In 1994 Jan Gehl worked with Melbourne City Council to analyse the challenges and potential of the city centre, because Melbourne had no public squares and a low quality of social life. With the help of Public Space/Public Life surveys Gehl could measure people-oriented indicators like how and where people walk and spend time, and what else they do in public spaces at different times of the day and week. Based on Jan Gehl’s findings, Melbourne’s city agencies worked over the next decade to achieve an impressive number of urban improvements.