Convention on the Rights of the Child (Hart,

1997). (Figure 10.1).

The everyday environment inhabited by children

is increasingly highlighted as an important

contributor to their social development and

general health and well-being (Thomas and

Thompson, 2004). In a recent report the

Department of Transport, Local Government and

the Regions describes such settings as being

composed of incidental spaces, the mundane

parts of the outdoor environment that are often

overlooked or may even attract attention for being

derelict and unsightly (DTLR, 2002, p.47). The

DLTR consider these to be a national asset, yet

evidence suggests that there remains a significant

loss of connection between children and such

outdoor settings and that this may have long-term

implications. Ken Worpole, author and commen-

tator on open space and social issues, has

recently raised the profile of this by synthesising

current government and community initiatives in

this field. He places the importance of providing

for, and giving voice to, children in policy, plan-

ning, design and management of public open

space firmly within the Urban Renaissance

agenda. His report, no particular place to

go?”…seeks to make clear that planning for play,

and the need to create safe street networks and

spaces for young people and children, is a pre-

condition of a healthy community life and

‘liveability’” (Worpole, 2003, p.4). Three issues

appear to emerge from this aspiration especially