Graça / Play in the city

Play in the city Designing cities with children

Author: Ana Catarina Graça, University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL)

Supervisor: Alexandra Paio, University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL); Marcos L. Rosa, Instituto Europeo di Design, São Paulo

Research stage: intermediate doctoral stage

Category: Extended abstract


This abstract will present an ongoing PhD research in the Doctoral Architecture of Contemporary Metropolitan Territories - Cities and Territories, at ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal, entitled “UAIG (Urban Areas of Illegal Genesis) – (re) living to (re) integrate - Micro practices for (re) qualification the public space”, where a strategy is developed for the (re) qualification of the public space in Urban Areas of Illegal Genesis (UAIG) through the introduction of a intervention methodology based on collaborative participatory processes with children.

The involvement of children in the search for answers, designing solutions for public space, is a look at the future of the city through the eyes of children, and there are several authors who have produced a set of tools - guides, toolkits and projects, for the promotion the participation of children in decision-making and planning of PS in the city, and a series of children's books that portray the city in the eyes of children.

The purpose of this article is to present the entire investigation process and this set of possibilities for participatory tools with children, which can be applied in the design of public space, focused on creating more fun, engaging and inclusive cities with and for communities.

This set of participatory tools allowed me to collect a series of micro practices that later led to the creation of my own toolkits for children – Participate: Your idea. Your Place -, which were tested in two clandestine neighborhoods.

Keywords: public space, participatory process, children