Three overlapping concepts provide the theoretical framework for this study:

• territorial range development • behaviour setting, and • affordance.

Territorial range development recognizes that maturing children explore, discover and make sense of their expanding world through experience, learned skills and spatial understanding (Hart, 1979; Moore and Young, 1978; Moore, 1989). To maintain this dynamic relationship with the environment, children repeatedly act at their territorial limits, constantly expanding the ‘known’ world by pressing against the ‘unknown’. For each child to exercise her or his exploratory skills beyond the known, space must be designed with soft, extendable territorial boundaries. Given the range of ages, levels of ability, and variety of child-caregiver relationships present in an urban park, environments with higher levels of diversity are likely to satisfy the exploratory needs of more children at any given moment.