Place, Pedagogy and Play : Participation, Design and Research with Children book cover
1st Edition

Place, Pedagogy and Play
Participation, Design and Research with Children

ISBN 9780367086374
Published August 3, 2020 by Routledge
248 Pages 100 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Place, Pedagogy and Play connects landscape architecture with education, psychology, public health and planning. Over the course of thirteen chapters it examines how design and research of places can be approached through multiple lenses – of pedagogy and play and how children, as competent social agents, are engaged in the process of designing their own spaces – and brings a global perspective to the debate around child-friendly environments.

Despite growing evidence of the benefits of nature for health, wellbeing, play and learning, children are increasingly spending more time indoors. Indeed, new policy ideas and public campaigns suggest how children can become better connected with nature, yet linking outdoor space to pedagogy is largely overlooked in research. By focusing on three themes within these debates, place and play; place and pedagogy; and place and participation, this book explores a variety of angles to show that best practice requires dialogue between research disciplines, designers, educationists and psychologists, and a move beyond seeing the spaces children inhabit as the domain only of childhood professionals.

Through illustrated case studies this book presents a wider picture of the state of childhood today, and offers practical solutions and further research avenues that promote a more holistic and internationally focused perspective on place, pedagogy and play for built-environment professionals.



Chapter 12 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Table of Contents


Robin Moore, North Carolina State University


Catharine Ward Thompson, University of Edinburgh

IntroductionSimon Bell, Matluba Khan and Jenny Wood


Part 1: Place and play

Chapter 1: Manufactured play equipment or loose parts? Examining the relationship between play materials and young children’s creative play

Reyhaneh Mozaffar, Napier University

Chapter 2. No time for play: children’s daily activities during summer holidays in the Beijing central area

Pai Tang and Helen Woolley, University of Sheffield

Chapter 3: An exploration of how playground design affects the play behaviour of kindergarten children in Tartu, Estonia.

Bhavna Mishra, Aalto University, Simon Bell, Estonian University of Life Sciences and Himansu Sekhar Mishra, Estonian University of Life Sciences

Chapter 4: Design of sensory gardens for children with disabilities in the context of the United Kingdom

Hazreena Hussein, University of Malaya

Chapter 5: Can active play encourage physical literacy in children and young people?

Patrizio De Rossi, University of Stirling


Part 2: Place and pedagogy

Chapter 6: Turning the classroom inside out: learning and teaching experiences in an early childhood setting

Muntazar Monsur, North Carolina State University

Chapter 7: Becoming naturish: ways of coming to know nature in the primary school

Cathy Francis, University of Aberdeen

Chapter 8: Closing the attainment gap in Scottish education: the case for outdoors as a learning environment in early primary school

Jamie McKenzie Hamilton, Heriot-Watt University

Chapter 9: School ground interventions for pedagogy and play: How can we evaluate the design?

Matluba Khan, University of Cardiff, Simon Bell and Sarah McGeown, University of Edinburgh


Part 3: Place and participation

Chapter 10: Children as heterotopians: town planning with and for children

Jenny Wood, Heriot-Watt University

Chapter 11: The Chair Project: co-creation through material play

Simon Beeson, Arts University Bournemouth

Chapter 12: Children's perspectives on green space management in Sweden and


Märit Jansson and Inger Lerstrup, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Chapter 13: A view from China: reflecting on the participation of children and young people in urban planning

Yupeng Ren, Yantai University


Conclusions Matluba Khan, Simon Bell and Jenny Wood

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Matluba Khan PhD is a Lecturer in Urban Design at Cardiff University. She is an architect and landscape architect from Bangladesh and her doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh focused on co-design, development and evaluation of outdoor learning environments in elementary schools in Bangladesh. She co-founded the charity A Place in Childhood (APiC) with Dr Jenny Wood in 2018.


Simon Bell PhD, CMLA studied forestry at the University of Bangor, landscape architecture at the University of Edinburgh and took his PhD at the Estonian University of Life Sciences. He is co-director of the OPENspace Research Centre at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh and Chair Professor of landscape architecture at the Estonian University of Life Sciences. He was president of the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS) between 2012 and 2018.


Jenny Wood PhD is a Research Associate in the Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University. She gained her PhD in children’s rights and the Scottish town planning system in 2016, and currently contributes to research on homelessness and poverty. She co-founded A Place in Childhood (APiC) with Dr Matluba Khan in 2018.