Kids in the city: Including children in an intensifying city

We held a lunchtime seminar:

Kids in the City: Including children in an intensifying city.

With: Karen Witten and Robin Kearns.

Video now available:

Kids in the City is a study of 9-12 year old children’s use and experiences of Auckland neighbourhoods. Living in vastly different neighbourhood environments, from inner city apartment blocks to suburban settings, 253 children kept trip dairies and wore GPS and accelerometers for seven days to reveal where they go, how they move about the city and how active they are in different settings. Their neighbourhood experiences – likes and dislikes, their concerns and fears – were also captured during walking interviews and group discussions.

The children’s experiences are informative on how higher density dwellings and neighbourhood streets can be designed to provide safe places to play and facilitate independence and social interactions. Their experiences also raise questions on how, and if, all inner city streets and other public spaces can be child-friendly at the same time as being inclusive of other marginal groups.

Kids in the city presentation (pdf)

karen robin


Karen Witten is a Professor of Public Health at SHORE & Whariki Research Centre at Massey University. She is a geographer and psychologist with an interest in urban neighbourhoods and how their design and infrastructure influences the social relationships, transport choices and well-being of residents.

Robin Kearns is Professor of Geography in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland. He has research interests spanning social, cultural and health geography and edits two journals: Health & Place, and Journal of Transport and Health.

This seminar took place on Monday 15 June, noon – 1 pm, Adam Auditorium, City Gallery, ground floor, Civic Square, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.