Project purpose and Description
Cities are envisioning a change in the use of public space. The new ways of moving and reclaiming space for citizens triggered the conversion of areas that were occupied by private cars into new open spaces. This newly gained public space might be a safe place for children throughout the city. However, even though there was an important increase in safety, they are not yet designed for these new users. To improve the liveability of these new spaces with a specific focus on children, the FURNISH-KIDS project aims to develop new liveable spaces using prototyping within a co-creation process with local communities, following the methodology developed in the first edition of FURNISH. Milan and Barcelona, both cities with dashing projects for the redesign of public open spaces that put pedestrians and cyclists first, will host full scale prototypes in public space to be tested by end users, as well as a full urban living lab experience that prioritizes co-creation across the whole project.
Objectives and Outcomes
FURNISH-KIDS aims to create two public space interventions using the ULL methodology, which will enable the use of the existing methodology to address the benefits of including children in the process of co-creation of spaces by building two prototypes of Mobile Urban Elements (MUEs) in Milan and Barcelona. These new children-friendly MUEs will contribute to encouraging the use of neighbourhood open spaces and promoting local knowledge. The target areas in both cities are public open spaces with the potential of increasing liveability and create new possibilities of uses focused on children. In Barcelona, the prototype will be placed on Gran Via Avenue – Glòries, a key area in the city that is being rethought through a participative process, and in Milan, as it has a strong program, “Piazze Aperte”, of TU happening throughout the city, this will be defined by the city, partners and with citizens during the ideation process. The criteria to define the place will take into consideration the needs of the neighbourhood, citizens’ engagement, and the presence of children. Following the ULL methodology, the exact physical spaces where the prototypes will be placed within these areas and their purpose of them will be defined in the ideation process. To do so, local communities and partners will work to define the most adequate location and the most pressing purpose to be addressed. The purpose might be, for instance, to play, learn and socialize. Above all, the intervention will be safe and accessible to children and to all groups with reduced mobility, and this will be guaranteed by the design teams in a way that still engages play. The focus age group will range from 6 to 12 years old children. Children at this age are more independent to play and enjoy spaces more freely, which will enable the design process to be more thought-provoking. In some cases, the age range can be restricted to 8 to 12 years, depending on the purpose of the space and the activities suggested.