The role of participatory planning in designing school environments



Publication Date

August 2022


Child-friendly open space design and urban planning has an evolving role in the past years. Among others, this includes initiatives where participatory planning is used as a tool to understand the needs and desires of children in order to create child-friendly environments. One of the open spaces where this has a high importance, are the school environments – including public open spaces around schools as well as schoolyards.

The authors analyse several projects where participatory planning with children were used to improve the quality of open spaces in and around schools. Twelve existing projects from Hungary were studied. The paper provides an overview of the different objectives that each project set: realizing small interventions to make the environment more comfortable, designing the schoolyard together, or simply learning about the environment and strengthening identity. To reach these goals, different methods are used and thus the processes may have different results as well. The paper aims to collect, analyse and evaluate these methods in order to use them as a basis for future participatory design processes to create child-friendly public open spaces in and around schools.