Visualising Outdoor Environment from the Perspectives of Children and Teachers

Kerstin Nordin


This study forms part of a Swedish research project aiming to design a method (Childrens Maps in GIS) for consulting children and teachers on childrens outdoor environment to inform actors in urban planning processes in a local authority. Following up on consultation projects at four local authorities in Sweden, users of the method identified problems with communicating the results to the heterogeneous group of actors in urban planning dealing with childrens outdoor environment. One constraint was lack of examples demonstrating how non-cartographic information in a database can be analysed and visualised.

This study provides such an example based on information from the municipality of Västerås, Sweden, where 90 children aged 1011 and six teachers were responding on a facilitated map questionnaire included in Childrens Maps in GIS. The results obtained were visualised and presented to and discussed with urban planners in Västerås.

Drawing on results from the meeting with the planners, theories on how children communicate experiences of place and the role of information in communicative planning practices a conceptual visualisation model where developed. The study indicates that the challenge is what to include in the guidelines to take responsibility for the entire communication process.

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