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Spaces to play

It is tough to win space for play in Britain’s established built up urban and suburban neighbourhoods. In the developing world where neighbourhoods are newer and their residents are often in transition, where life's priorities may be shelter, food and work, it takes determination and careful planning to justify the need for spaces to play and easy non-motorised access to them.  

Building vital leadershp capacity amongst local groups in developing countries is at the heart of the work of Kristie Daniel, Liveable Cities Programme Drirector of Healthbridge, one of Canada's leading public health NGOs.  Linking local groups in different countries has contributed hugely to the sharing of expereince and knowledge, so much so that in 2015 four of Healthbridge supported local initiatives were awarded Walk21 Visionary Awards.

Vietnam has 90% of its population riding motorbikes - adults as well as children.  No journey is so short that a motorbike can't be used, and they are the vehicle of choice when it comes to not only carrying family members, but shopping, household goods, and farm produce.  Motorbikes are everywhere - even between market stalls, there will be riders half riding, half wheeling their motorbike as if it were a cumbersome shopping cart.  Any patch of space is clogged with motorbikes, and yet local groups have come together to develop a seres of motor vehicle free parks and spaces for children to play.

Tibet has been rocked by a series of devastating earthquakes and tremors,  Roads have been cut and buidlings destroyed.  It is not just the tourists in search of Himalayan adventures who have been inconvenienced.  However, it is the quakes that have aided the growth of Kathmandu Walks - carfree days to allow families to get out and about on foot and play right on their doorsteps.  As people now fear that heavy or fast moving motor vehicles could cause their houses to shake and collapse, residents are enforcing go-slow streets and carfree routes and spaces.

Listen in to this interview with Kristie Daniel to find out more about what is happening in developing countries to create spaces to play.

Talking Walking is Britain’s leading walking podcast website, with more than 70 recorded interviews since 2008 - each interview is recorded and produced by Andrew Stuck, Founding Director of the Museum of Walking and of Rethinking Cities Ltd. in London. 

HealthBridge works with partners worldwide to improve health and health equity among vulnerable populations, including those at risk of malnutrition, infectious disease and emerging epidemics, by understanding and bridging gaps in public health – gaps between needs and technologies, evidence and policies, and policies and practice. They work with local partners to identify priority needs, develop and implement appropriate solutions, apply innovative and sustainable practices, and promote effective policies.  They have four programmes: 1. Gender Equality and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health; 2. Health, Nutrition and Food Security; 3. Livable Cities; and 4. Tobacco Control & Non-Communicable Disease Prevention. Founded in 1982, HealthBridge is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Canada.

Listen to the interview with Kristie Daniel -

Date added: 5 February 2017

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