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Nisses Johanson, Johanna (2007) Río Pita Park. Other thesis, SLU.

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The number of urban inhabitants throughout the world is rapidly increasing. Almost all population growth is taking place in low or middle-income countries and in the suburbs of large cities. Improvement of these environments, in particular of public space, should be an important factor in any attempt to improve the quality of life in these areas. A sustainable way of reaching this goal could be to place a value on the environment, through the encouragement of personal relationship and responsibility for the quality of the public spaces in which lives are being lived. The improvement of their daily life can occur through understanding and a feeling for nature. Through studies of an area on the outskirts of Quito, with a focus on the often disregarded target group of children and their use of nature, I hereby present the shortage and needs of the physical conditions in the area. Through walks and conversations about children's cognitive maps of their neighbourhood in the suburb El Valle de los Chillos, the children's view of nature was investigated. Arguments and recommendations for stimulating children's interaction with nature that have been found in previous literature have worked as a foundation when developing a proposal of how contact with nature can be improved. This was done through observations and analysis. The increasing development of privileged gated communities, fragments the urban landscape, and disrupts access to, otherwise, public space. Outside of these communities, where the less wealthy families live, the streets to a large extent consist of a space enclosed by high stone walls. Greenspace is behind those walls or on a still undeveloped piece of land, where the lush grass is unused. Although there is a sense of a green area, it is not used, or it is unavailable to the people who have a wish for it. My proposal for strengthening the relationship with the natural environment involves improvement of the whole neighbourhood. However, the focus is set to an unurbanised area by the river, where a larger greenspace can create opportunities for a diverse and maximised use of nature. The design proposal provides for environmental education, physical exercise, social activities, children's development and stress relief. Río Pita Park is a tangible proposal for how appreciation of nature can be established among children in El Valle de los Chillos. It is beneficial to their physical and mental health, their academic performance, their social skills and essential to their participation in the necessarily global action for a sustainable and healthy planet. My hope is that this thesis with the design proposal of plans and illustrations of how a public park could be developed, will be used when applying for international funding for the realisation of the park.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: greenspace, children, suburban planning, minor field studies
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Johanna Nisses Johanson
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:03
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2522

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