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Child in/of/around the City : Design for an indicator species Lambert, Amalie 2017

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Child in/of/around the City: Design for an indicator speciesAmalie LambertB.Sc.Arch, McGill University, 2013Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of ‘Master of Architecture’ in The Faculty of Graduate Studies, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Architecture ProgramSara Stevens, Mariana Brussoni, Susan Herrington, Alex Bigazzi© December 2017Do I know my neighbors? Can I trust them?Where do we meet?Are there other kids to play with?iiAbstractHow can architecture help children access urban space, and take their first steps into the public sphere? Child independent mobility, the freedom that children have to travel in their local environments unaccompanied by adults, is essential to children’s development and wellbeing. Increasingly, children are gaining access to these environments at an older age, reflecting changing environments and social norms, as well as adult fears about urban space. In response to current research in child independent mobility, this thesis proposes a compact, street-oriented student family housing project at UBC that supports and enhances children’s access to the city. This thesis engages with architecture as a physical and psychological threshold to the outdoors, as well as a necessary site of retreat for the integration of “thoughts, memories and dreams” (Bachelard 1958). The final design proposal attempts to address several of the ongoing challenges of urban density: how to live in close quarters, how to interact with strangers and neighbors, and how to connect to the outdoors. iiiTable of ContentsAbstract...........................................................................................................................................iiiTable of  Figures.............................................................................................................................vAcknowledgement..........................................................................................................................viiPart 1: Research. Exploring child independent mobility in Vancouver’s postmodern architecture...........1Part 2: Design. Design for an indicator species.................................................................................50Bibliography..................................................................................................................................65ivvTable of FiguresFigure 1. Independent Mobility at 6 and 9 years old: comparing intergenerational experiences....2Figure 2. Amalie: Driving/Taking the Bus to School.....................................................................3Figure 3. Amalie: Walking to School..............................................................................................4Figure 4. Garden City: Ward and Centre. Ebenezer Howard (1900)............................................8Figure 5. Garden City: Masterplan. Ebenezer Howard (1900)......................................................8Figure 6. Picturesque village, Raymond Unwin (1909)..................................................................7Figure 7. Neighborhood unit, Clarence Perry (1929)...................................................................10Figure 8. Radburn, NJ. Clarence Stein and Henry Wright (1929)...............................................10Figure 9. “Radburn, Safe for Children.” Clarence Stein and Henry Wright (1929).....................10Figure 10. Unité living room. Louis Sciarli (1960)......................................................................11Figure 11. Rooftop Kindergarten Unité d’habitation. Designed by Le Corbusier and Blanche Lemco Van Ginkel. Photo by Lucien Hervé (1947)....................................................................11Figure 12. Urban reidentification grille. Alison and Peter Smithson (1953)................................13Figure 13. Chisendale Road. Nigel Henderson (1953)................................................................14Figure 14. Streets in the Sky. Alison and Peter Smithson (1972).................................................13Figure 15. Fig. 15. Site analysis. Alison and Peter Smithson (1960)............................................16Figure 16. View from the mound in Robin Hood Gardens. Woolmore (2013)...........................13Figure 17. Recommended Family-Type Allocations by Building Type. Oscar Newman (1976)..15Figure 18. “Conceptual Framework of Children’s Travel Behaviour for the Journey to School (redrawn from McMillan, 2005).” From Shaw et al, p.59. (2013)................................................16Figure 19. Spaces of childhood in Vancouver, B.C.: 1886 - 2017.................................................17Figure 20. Vertical Access: Stairs, Elevators, Landings. McAfee (1978)......................................20Figure 21. Program diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978)....................................................20Figure 22. Visual connection diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978).....................................20Figure 23. Privacy diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978)......................................................20Figure 24. Ownership diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978)................................................20Figure 25. Aerial view of UBC campus. Grout et al. (1982)........................................................22Figure 26. Front page. Grout et al. (1982)....................................................................................22Figure 27. Perspective. Grout et al. (1982)...................................................................................22viFigure 28. “Do you feel safe allowing your children to play in the  Acadia Park Student Family Housing neighborhood?”. AMS (2013).......................................................................................24Figure 29. “Living in Acadia Park Student Family Housing, I feel that I am part of a community.” AMS (2013)............................................................................................................24Figure 30. Superblocks. Grout et al. (1982).................................................................................23Figure 31. Perimeter blocks. Grout et al. (1982)..........................................................................23 Figure 32. Mat buildings. Grout et al. (1982)..............................................................................23Figure 33. ‘Village street’. Grout et al. (1982)..............................................................................24Figure 34. Site plan. Grout et al. (1982).......................................................................................24Figure 35. ‘Village street’ perspective. Grout et al. (1982)............................................................26Figure 36. Gradations of privacy. Grout et al. (1982)...................................................................26Figure 37. Separating cars and living space. Grout et al. (1982)...................................................26Figure 38. Privacy and connection. Grout et al. (1982)................................................................26Figure 39. Connecting home & play. Grout et al. (1982).............................................................26Figure 40. Going out to play: comparing two architectural experiences.......................................28Figure 41. Study of threshold interactions....................................................................................30Figure 43. Study of threshold interactions - unit plan.................................................................33Figure 44. 2520 Melfa Lane - plan..............................................................................................34Figure 45. Study of threshold interactions - Davie Street............................................................35Figure 46. 283 Davie Street - plan...............................................................................................36Figure 47. Melfa Lane 1:400. Gradation of privacy......................................................................38Figure 48. Melfa Lane 1:400. Plan...............................................................................................40Figure 49. Davie Street 1:400. Gradation of privacy.....................................................................42Figure 50. Davie Street 1:400. Plan.............................................................................................44Figure 51. Comparison of routes to school...................................................................................45Figure 52. Comparison of routes to school - satellite image. Google 2017..................................46Figure 53. Walking to University Hill Elementary - experiential elevation.................................48Figure 54. Walking to Elsie Roy Elementary - experiential elevation..........................................48Figure 55. CIM and the environment: stimuli and obstacle.........................................................50Figure 56. Design strategy............................................................................................................51Figure 57. Site..............................................................................................................................52Figure 58. Masterplan iterations...................................................................................................53Figure 59. Masterplan strategies - planning for play....................................................................53Figure 60. ‘Getting around’ - integrating the plan into the neighborhood fabric.........................54Figure 61. ‘Places to meet’ - designing community space in the housing project.........................55Figure 62. ‘Living Room’ - communal spaces of leisure................................................................56Figure 63. ‘A Network of Play Spaces’..........................................................................................58Figure 64. ‘Stairage’......................................................................................................................59Figure 65. ‘Private - Public’ - designing spaces of intimacy and retreat........................................60Figure 66. ‘Thresholds’..................................................................................................................62Figure 67. Door studies................................................................................................................64AcknowledgementMany thanks to Sara Stevens, my supervisor throughout this project, as well as to the other members of my committee: Mariana Brussoni, Susan Herrington and Alex Bigazzi. Thanks & love to my inspiring cohort, to my Green College family, to Breanna Mitchell for her astounding brains, to M, E, S & G for their generous testimonials of life at Acadia Park, and to all those who went into the city with me, and talked to me about it. This thesis is dedicated to Betty Thomas, my grandmother, who really did walk a mile to school, and kept on going. vii11. RESEARCH ABSTRACTIn the 20th century, changes in political, moral, and scientific thought generated influential new concepts of childhood. Ideas about children and families became a driving force of design, influ-encing the architecture of homes and schools, as well as the organization of the modern city. By the 1920s, urban density and motorized traffic were considered major obstacles to child devel-opment and well-being. In the city of Vancou-ver, Canada, the impact of child-centred think-ing is particularly visible in housing projects and municipal legislation from the late 1980s and early 1990s, part of an urban approach now cel-ebrated as ‘Vancouverism’. To respond to both the needs of families and spatio-economic pres-sures, housing from this period addresses several of the ongoing challenges of urban density: how to live in close quarters, how to interact with strangers and neighbors, and how to connect to the outdoors. Late 20th century residential design also displays a functionalist approach to family relationships in the home, a postmodern architectural aesthetic, as well as social norms that increasingly limited children’s access to the outdoors and the public sphere.Additionally, this thesis argues that the design and location of schools is integral to modern concepts of childhood. When elementary edu-cation became compulsory in British Columbia in the late 19th century, it required the construc-tion of schools in every community with more than 15 children of school age (Public School Act 1872). As a result, schools in Vancouver have been located within walking distance of children’s homes for nearly 150 years, a plan-ning distribution directly correlated to housing density. Though the definition of a ‘walkable distance to school’ has changed over time, the forthcoming closures of primary schools in Van-couver will challenge the city’s historic home-school relationship (VSB 2016). These closures are in direct contradiction with a growing body of research that identifies children’s active trav-el to school as an important source of physical exercise, in a country that struggles with chron-ic illnesses such as obesity and type-2 diabetes. Walking to school may also play an important role in children’s creation of a socio-spatial do-main and in feelings of belonging and agency in their community.By exploring two residential case studies, this thesis will examine the impact of architecture on children’s access to the city. At their best, these projects exemplify a design approach that enhances and responds to human development within an urban context, issues that are still ur-gent today. As the world becomes predominant-ly urban, increases in housing density, traffic density, and loss of green space indicate that the design professions have an ever-growing impact on children’s environments, and on their access to the civic realm. Part 1: ResearchExploring child independent mobility in Vancouver’s postmodern architecture“The state of children is a very sensitive barometer to the effects of social, environmental, economic and other changes.”Unicef Innocenti Research Centre (2004) Building Child Friendly Cities: A Framework for Action“One common measure of how clean a mountain stream is is to look for trout. If you find the trout, the habitat is healthy. It’s the same way with children in a city. Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for all people.”Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa, Yes magazine, 20 March 2004.2Fig. 1. Independent Mobility at 6 and 9 years old: comparing intergenerational experiences.3Fig. 2. Amalie: Driving/Taking the Bus to School4Fig. 3. Amalie: Walking to School52. INTRODUCTIONThe fundamental question of this thesis is: How do we occupy and experience cities? Because of the social, moral, and political agendas inherent in narratives about children’s spaces, design that addresses children can provide a useful lens to analyze our urban experiences. To address these questions, this thesis will examine two architec-tural precedents in the city of Vancouver from 1985 and 1994. During this period, planning guidelines and built projects were developed to expressly address the needs of children and their parents.  Initial inspiration for this project comes from personal experience. The summer I turned nine, my family moved from Vancouver, B.C. to Sherbrooke, Quebec. Among other things, the move changed the way I inhabited city space. Whereas in Vancouver I was driven to school, in Sherbrooke I was allowed to walk: school was only a kilometer from our house. This small change almost doubled the area I was able to access alone in the city (fig. 1 and 2). During the walk, I remember whistling with grass, tear-ing lilac blooms off the neighbor’s shrubs, and discussing with classmates: what did you eat for breakfast, and would Jesus appear at the turn of the millennium? Walking to school allowed me to engage intimately with my surroundings, at my own pace. This engagement fostered a sense of belonging, up to a point. Being often the only person on the sidewalk in our residential neigh-borhood, I remember feeling watched in the city, by grown ups in cars, or inside houses. In terms of spatial access, my experience reflects current research in the fields of public health and geography: living close to school and to other destinations, such as the park and the cor-ner store, is an important predictor of having a large neighborhood activity space (Loebach 2016). My experience is also an example of a generational shift: though no longitudinal re-search exists on the topic in Canada, only 24% of Canadian children regularly walked or cycled to school in a 2010 study (ParticipAction 2015, p.24). My mother grew up walking in Vancouver in the 1960s: her neighborhood activity space at the age of nine was triple the size of mine at the same age, in the same city (fig. 3). The second source of inspiration for this project is a 2015 report on child independent mobility. This international review by the Policy Stud-ies Institute identified the City of Vancouver’s “High density housing for families with chil-dren Guidelines” (1992) as an “exceptional” ex-ample of housing guidelines which support chil-dren’s independent mobility in an urban context (Shaw et al. 2015, p.viii). I examine two case studies from this period in Vancouver with two objectives: (a) to assess if the chosen projects re-spond to these guidelines, and (b) to understand how architecture can enhance children’s transi-tion into the city at elementary school age.In this thesis, I propose that the space between home and school is an architectural site which reflects concepts of childhood in the field of ar-chitecture, and in society at large. I also suggest that this space can offer a first site of indepen-dent access to the city, at an age of important emotional and physical development. In sum-mary, architecture can increase children’s inde-pendent mobility and enhance children’s experi-6ence of the city by creating home environments that facilitate access to the outdoors through their layout, thresholds, and scale. Architecture can also increase child independent mobili-ty by locating homes near elementary schools. This thesis statement will help guide the second component of this graduation project, a design proposal.3. CHILD INDEPENDENT MOBILITY AND ARCHITECTUREHow does architecture influence children’s indepen-dent mobility between home and school?3.1 CIM in the cityIn 2004, Bogota mayor Enrique Penalosa fa-mously stated that children are an ‘indicator species’ of how we perceive and engage with our cities (Ives 2004). The proportion of chil-dren walking to school may serve as a gauge of parents’ and children’s collective trust, feelings of safety, and social anxiety (is the local school good enough to guide my child into a successful career?). On the other hand, high numbers of walkers may indicate economic anxiety: chil-dren from lower income families are more likely to walk to school because their parents cannot afford to drive them there (Shaw et al. 2015). Child independent mobility (CIM) is defined as children’s ability to occupy and move through their local neighborhood without adult super-vision (Loebach 2014). Regularly walking to school is the most important predictor of CIM (Loebach 2016, Shaw et al. 2015, Mitra et al. 2010). Though specialized environments for children such as schools, playgrounds and hos-pitals are important urban institutions, this the-sis argues that children, as well as adults, need to access a variety of spaces within the city. 3.2 Is this architecture?Simon Unwin defines architecture as “the de-termination by which a mind gives intellectu-al structure to a building, a place, a garden, a city” (Unwin 2007, p.102). I propose that the intellectual structure of a city is created through access to the city, which is partially determined by architectural facilitators and obstacles to this access. In this analysis, I will focus on the home environment as a threshold to independent mo-bility, analyzing the project’s layout, windows, doors, and proximity to the ground. Walking to school is also a question of housing densi-ty: though children living in dense neighbor-hoods may live closer to schools (according to school-population ratios), those living in units without direct ground access may have less ac-cess to the outdoors (Whitzman and Mizrachi 2012). Walking to school often means being allowed to take a first step outside. In a rapid-ly densifying world, how can we address these challenges?4. FIELD OF INQUIRY‘Walking to school ’ in the architectural discourseCities have long been spaces of social critique and moral anxiety. In 380 BCE, Plato’s Repub-lic suggests parallels between the city, education, and the “just man”, proposing that the ideal city requires ideal citizens, which can only be cre-ated through an ideal education (Brown 2009). The development of children and their role in the city resurged as important themes in the 18th century. In 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau published “Émile, or On Education”, suggesting 7Fig. 6. Picturesque Village, Raymond Unwin (1909).that “man’s ideal nature” would be “conserved” if boys were removed from their homes, and taught using the scientific method in the coun-tryside (Bertram 2010). Rousseau’s idea of in-nate human goodness corrupted by society be-came a key concept of the Enlightenment and Romanticism (Thompson 2005). His views on nature are also echoed in the contemporary aes-thetic ideals of the Picturesque, which were to inspire suburban design a century later (TCLF 2017). Parallel to religious, political, and eco-nomic reforms in the 1800s, educating children became a social and moral imperative in much of Europe. In England, the 1821 census shows that 49% of the workforce was under the age of 20  (The National Archives, n.d.). By 1880, school became compulsory from the age of five to ten. In 1900, Swedish educator and intellec-tual Ellen Key wrote The Century of the Child, proposing that educating children should be the main objective of the 20th century. A 2012 ex-hibit at the MoMA suggests that Key’s hunch was correct: in the past 100 years, schools been instruments of political nation-building, reli-gious indoctrination, and racial assimilation, as well as sites of social protest, and important eco-nomic investment. In architecture, the ideals of ‘home’ and ‘school’  have proved rich topics of design and debate. One of the first thinkers to propose an ideal lo-cation for urban schools is Ebenezer Howard, founder of the Garden City movement. Though Howard’s influential book, “To-morrow: a peaceful path to real reform” (1900), does not mention schools in its text, its diagrams locate schools (and their “Play Grounds”) within the greenbelt of the Grand Avenue, midway be-tween the industrial outer-ring and the com-munal central park (fig. 4). In this location, the school is sandwiched between residential blocks, and occupies the same ring as the church. In the agricultural land beyond the Garden City, How-ard places “children’s cottage homes” (orphan-ages), “asylums for the blind and deaf ”, “farms for epileptics”, “homes for convalescents” and “cow pastures”  (fig. 5). The Garden City thus excludes certain children from its confines, as an attempt to either correct or isolate their impair-ments. In Howard’s ideal city, a rigid social and spatial structure is key to a new civic order.  The Garden City movement spread rapidly in Europe and North America. English architect and planner Raymond Unwin was an early ad-vocate, and participated in the design of Letch-worth, the first realized Garden City. In 1909, he published “Town Planning in Practice”, a massive anthology of suburban housing typolo-gies combining English vernacular architecture and generous green spaces. Within the 400-page volume, Unwin devotes a few lines to chil-dren’s play spaces and playrooms:“The children, too, should not be forgotten in the open spaces. The kinderbank, or low seat to suit their short legs, should always be provided, and where possible spaces of turf supplied with 8Fig. 4. Garden City: Ward and Centre. Ebenezer Howard (1900)Fig. 5. Garden City: Masterplan. Ebenezer Howard (1900)9swings or see-saws, with ponds for sailing boats, and with sand pits where these can be kept suf-ficiently clean.” (Unwin 1909, p. 287)On shared spaces and utilities, and placing chil-dren’s spaces near their parent’s work:“Where cottages are built in groups round a quadrangle, how simple it would be to provide one centre where a small, well-arranged laundry could be placed […]. Perhaps some play-room would need to be attached in which the children could be within reach of their mothers, during the hour or two they would be at work in the laundry.” (Unwin 1909, p. 382)In these passages, Unwin locates children con-spicuously within the common spaces of the village/suburb, proposing an urban landscape adapted to their “short legs”. He also propos-es spaces for children in relation to domestic work, a functionalist concept which reappears in planning documents in Vancouver. Unwin also developed an influential approach to suburban aesthetics. An active member of the Arts and Crafts movement, Unwin championed peak-ed roofs, local materials, and well-defined vis-tas. Many of his compositional strategies were inspired by the Picturesque, an approach that proved inspirational to generations of planners (fig. 6).However, the place of the school in the Gar-den City was only significantly addressed 20 years later. In 1929, New York planner Clarence Perry published “The Neighborhood Unit, a Scheme for Arrangement for the Family-Life Community.” Perry’s “neighborhood unit” is a direct continuation of Unwin’s work, proposing a low-density “sub-urban” neighborhood unit as a solution to the city’s industry, density, and growing concern about automobile traffic. At the centre of the unit, Perry replaces Howard’s civic park with the elementary school: he ex-pressly designs a community size of 5,000-9,000 inhabitants to support the school, and limits the unit’s radius to ¼ mile (400 m), insuring that children of all ages can easily walk there (fig. 7).  For Perry, children, and by extension schools, are key instruments of social cohesion and dem-ocratic ideals. Perry developed this theory while working in New York City, which was struggling with immigration and substantial economic in-equality at the time. In his book “The Commu-nity-Used School”, Perry cites a Dr. Gulick on this topic: “Only upon the basis of personal understanding and mutual confidence is efficient and coherent social action possible. This is the foundation of democracy. Communities must have, therefore, material and social machinery by which various classes shall come to know each other; some in-strument that shall cross-section racial, finan-cial and social strata; something that shall go beneath these and touch fundamental human interests. Of these the central one is the love of children, and the machinery most natural, as well as most available, is the public-school sys-tem.” (Perry 1911, p.9)In 1929, the same year Perry’s influential ‘Neighborhood Unit’ was published, Clarence Stein and Henry Wright designed a suburban neighborhood in Radburn, New Jersey. (fig. 8) Much like Perry’s neighborhood unit, Radburn had a clear social agenda focussed on automo-bile traffic and the nuclear family. In his 1951 book, Toward New Towns for America, Stein writes: “Radburn was above all else planned for 10Fig. 7. Neighborhood unit, Clarence Perry (1929) Fig. 9. “Radburn, Safe for Children.” Clarence Stein and Henry Wright (1929)Fig. 8. Radburn, NJ. Clarence Stein and Henry Wright (1929)11Fig. 10. Unité living room. Louis Sciarli (1960)Fig. 11. Rooftop Kindergarten Unité d’habitation. Designed by Le Corbusier and Blanche Lemco Van Ginkel. Photo by Lucien Hervé (1947).12children.” (p.60). At the time, motorized vehi-cles were multiplying rapidly in the city, result-ing in heavy pedestrian casualties, many of them children (Dargan & Zeitlin 1990). In response to these conditions, the neighborhood design was to answer the question “‘How to live with the auto’: or if you will, ‘How to live in spite of it’” (Stein 1951, p.42). In Radburn, cars and pedestrians travel in “complete separation”, and family leisure is celebrated in both private back-yards and numerous communal ‘inner parks’ (fig. 9). As a built expression of Perry and Howard’s aspirations, Radburn was highly influential in suburban projects around the world, and an im-portant symbol of the American Dream (Reed 2001, p.5).   After World War II, modernist architects con-tinued to explore the role of the car in the city, choosing to celebrate the automobile, while densifying housing and reserving wide areas for recreation. CIAM’s Athens Charter of 1943 fa-mously states that the four main functions of the city are dwelling, working, cultivating the body and the mind, and circulation. Le Cor-busier’s Unité d’habitation concept proposes a new type of family unit in a “vertical garden city” (Abel 2010, p.21). In Marseille, the “Cité Radieuse”, a prototype of the “unité”, is built in 1947: 12 stories high, with 337 apartments, the residential tower includes shops, a restau-rant, and a medical clinic (fig. 10). On the roof, Le Corbusier and Blanche Lemco Van Ginkel design a kindergarten, using the school as the culmination point of this vertical city (fig. 11). In reaction to Le Corbusier and CIAM’s rigid separation of city functions, architects Alison and Peter Smithson proposed a new structure for the city at CIAM’s ninth gathering in 1953. Their exhibit included the “Urban Reidenti-fication Grille”: instead of separating the city by function, the Smithsons anatomize the city according to scale (fig.12). Using photographs taken in East London by Nigel Henderson, the grille illustrates a concept inspired by children’s play: the Smithson’s “cluster city” promotes so-cial connectivity, spatial relationships, with an emphasis on the street as a site of enjoyment, not just transport (MoMA 2012). Henderson’s photos show children outside of their homes, occupying the front steps of a house, the sidewalk, and the street (fig. 13). The freedom enjoyed by the children in his photo-graphs is striking today: rolling on the ground and making elaborate chalk drawings are no longer common occupations in most London intersections. A quote from the CIAM Con-gress also suggests that the Smithson’s saw par-allels between access to the street and feelings of belonging: in the right-hand ‘Street’ column of the grille, they show another Henderson photo-graph, this time of adults in the street setting up building props for neighborhood celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation (fig. 12).“Belonging is a basic emotional need- it’s asso-ciations are of the simplest order. From ‘Belong-ing’- comes the enriching sense of neighbourli-ness.” (Smithson 1953)The Smithson’s would famously propose to cre-ate similar street dynamics in residential high rises. In the ‘House’ column on the right, the Smithson’s include an early collage of their idea for “streets in the sky”. These ‘streets’ took the 13Fig. 12. Urban reidentification grille. Alison and Peter Smithson (1953).Fig. 16. View from the mound in Robin Hood Gardens. Woolmore (2013).Fig. 14. Streets in the Sky. Alison and Peter Smithson (1972).14Fig. 13. Chisendale Road. Nigel Henderson (1953).15form of wide, single-loaded corridors open to the outdoors: spaces for neighborhood inter-action, nearby play, and visual connections to common areas on the ground plane (fig. 14).In the late 1960s, the Smithson’s would incor-porate “streets in the sky” in their design of a housing estate, Robin Hood Gardens (built 1972). Though the Smithson’s did not refer to the site’s local school in their site analysis and plans (fig. 15), the Gardens are located across the street from Woolmore School, built in 1912. The school is clearly visible from the central mound of the “stress-free area”, Robin Hood Gardens’ common green space (fig. 16). Though the school is close to the housing project, with gaps left between blocks for visual access to the school, Woolmore is not the project’s central point. Neither did the architects propose street interventions to incorporate the school into the Gardens: in this typology, the superblock does not include the school.   An important reaction to modernism is Oscar Newman’s concept of ‘defensible space’. Con-demning high density projects such as Robin Hood Gardens, la Cite Radieuse, and Pruitt Igoe, Newman’s “Design Guidelines for Creat-ing Defensible Space” (1976) proposes that the clear separation of public, private, and common spaces is essential to designing safe, low-crime communities. Newman also advocates for hous-ing based on age and family type, continuing the view that families with children should live in ground-oriented units. However, Newman’s ra-tionale for this access is not based on children’s developmental needs, but on safety concerns:“Like the elderly, child-oriented families occupy the environs of their dwellings continually and intensively. However, unlike the elderly, children cannot be counted on to be conscientious about rules involving the use of entry doors and exits. They are also easily frustrated by intercoms, and parents will not always entrust them with a key. To facilitate their access to multiple dwellings children will vandalize locking hardware and intercoms; they will place chewing gum in the latch portion of the lock, twist doors on their hinges, and break out the glass panes that pro-vide access to the interior knobs of doors con-trolled by intercoms.” (Newman 1976, p.72) In this passage, Newman situates children “con-tinually” outside of their homes, and regards this omnipresence as detrimental to the safety of communal entrances. Without the supervi-sion of a doorman, Newman does not consid-er it acceptable for children to live in elevator high-rises (fig. 17). Newman also emphasizes the importance of recognizing one’s neighbors to improve safety. He proposes that neighbor-hood familiarity is determined by the number of units sharing an environment, as well as by “similarities of life styles, ages, backgrounds, and socializing proclivities […]” (Newman 1976, p.73). Thus, Newman suggests that families with children should be housed together.Fig. 17. Recommended Family-Type Allocations by Building Type. Oscar Newman (1976).16Fig. 18.“Conceptual Frame-work of Children’s Travel Behaviour for the Journey to School (redrawn from McMillan, 2005).” From Shaw et al. (2013). P.59Fig. 15. Site analysis. Alison and Peter Smithson (1960). 17SPACES OF CHILDHOOD IN VANCOUVER, B.C.: 1886 - 2017 HOMEIN THE CITYSCHOOL1886 (built 1872)Hastings Sawmill SchoolCity of Vancouver Archives1910Mother, Ken and meJames Luke Quincy1913Building a house at 3379 West 22nd aveDunbar History Projectn.d. (circa 1942)Japanese Internment CampsTak Toyota, National Archives of Canada, Canadian Presscirca 1920Snow scene in StrathconaCity of Vancouver Archives1905 (built 1899)St Paul’s Indian SchoolNorth Vancouver Museum and Archives1905Bathing, English Bay, Vancouver, B.C.Philip Timms, Vancouver Public Library19503500 Block at 29th and DunbarLeslie Deeth 1958Black man on PenderFred Herzog1970Children perched on giant log near Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley ParkPugstem Publications1986Boys and Girls club making Vancouver sparkleGlen E. Erickson1990Alexander streetFred Herzogn.d.Granville Island Water ParkCity of Vancouvern.d.From the series: Flat white short blackJohn Goldsmith1971Denise Quakenbush and Mimi Maier on their way to Henry Hudson Elementary Ken Oakes1973New WestminsterFred Herzog1971 (built 1950s)Little Mountain Housing CooperativeBrian Kent, The Vancouver Sun2016Dad, Adrian Crook with kids and triple bunk bedArlen Redekop, The Vancouver Sun1962Boys on shedFred Herzog1943View of the 300 block East Cordova StreetJack Lindsay, City of Vancouver Archives1956 (built 1955)Douglas Annex AVancouver School Board1934Opening of the Japanese language school: Meiwa GakuenHarry Aoki archives1978 (built 1977)False Creek ElementaryVancouver School Board2015 (built 2014)Walk ‘n Roll to School Week (Norma Rose Point Elementary)Andy Fang, UTown@UBC1920 (built 1902)David Lloyd George ElementaryVancouver School Board1973 (built 1973) A class being conducted by Mr. Don Rourke, teacher librarian, using part of the open area library space as a pod. (Champlain Heights Elementary)Vancouver School Board1930s1960s1990sFig. 19. Spaces of childhood in Vancouver, B.C.: 1886 - 2017.18SPACES OF CHILDHOOD IN VANCOUVER, B.C.: 1886 - 2017 HOMEIN THE CITYSCHOOL1886 (built 1872)Hastings Sawmill SchoolCity of Vancouver Archives1910Mother, Ken and meJames Luke Quincy1913Building a house at 3379 West 22nd aveDunbar History Projectn.d. (circa 1942)Japanese Internment CampsTak Toyota, National Archives of Canada, Canadian Presscirca 1920Snow scene in StrathconaCity of Vancouver Archives1905 (built 1899)St Paul’s Indian SchoolNorth Vancouver Museum and Archives1905Bathing, English Bay, Vancouver, B.C.Philip Timms, Vancouver Public Library19503500 Block at 29th and DunbarLeslie Deeth 1958Black man on PenderFred Herzog1970Children perched on giant log near Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley ParkPugstem Publications1986Boys and Girls club making Vancouver sparkleGlen E. Erickson1990Alexander streetFred Herzogn.d.Granville Island Water ParkCity of Vancouvern.d.From the series: Flat white short blackJohn Goldsmith1971Denise Quakenbush and Mimi Maier on their way to Henry Hudson Elementary Ken Oakes1973New WestminsterFred Herzog1971 (built 1950s)Little Mountain Housing CooperativeBrian Kent, The Vancouver Sun2016Dad, Adrian Crook with kids and triple bunk bedArlen Redekop, The Vancouver Sun1962Boys on shedFred Herzog1943View of the 300 block East Cordova StreetJack Lindsay, City of Vancouver Archives1956 (built 1955)Douglas Annex AVancouver School Board1934Opening of the Japanese language school: Meiwa GakuenHarry Aoki archives1978 (built 1977)False Creek ElementaryVancouver School Board2015 (built 2014)Walk ‘n Roll to School Week (Norma Rose Point Elementary)Andy Fang, UTown@UBC1920 (built 1902)David Lloyd George ElementaryVancouver School Board1973 (built 1973) A class being conducted by Mr. Don Rourke, teacher librarian, using part of the open area library space as a pod. (Champlain Heights Elementary)Vancouver School Board1930s1960s1990s194.1 How does this discourse exist in the city today?Like the Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens, Newman’s diagrams of the neighborhood show residences located near schools, but does not theorize on their spatial relationship. This “close, but not integrated” approach continues today. However, recent research has highlight-ed the importance of school-home proximity and active school travel. Walking to school is an important source of physical activity, and is correlated to other benefits, including greater perceptions of self-efficacy, lower anxiety and increased time spent in active play (Shaw et al. 2013). In Canada, increased mobility could improve the most serious child health issues, which include asthma, obesity and overweight, diabetes, high levels of emotional and/or anx-iety problems, hyper-activity and inattention, and physical aggression (Public Health Agency of Canada 2009). However, since Mayer Hillman published his first study on children’s mobility in the early 1970s, researchers have identified a dramatic re-duction in children’s independent access to their environments, especially in North America and Europe. Hillman’s research has become the old-est longitudinal studies of its kind: in 1971, 80 percent of seven- and eight-year-old children in England were allowed to travel to school with-out adult supervision; in 1990, only nine percent of seven and eight-year-olds were permitted to do so (Shaw et al. 2013). Over the same span of time, child fatalities on the roads nearly halved, though the volume of traffic almost doubled (Hillman, Adams and Whitelegg 1990, cited in Shaw et al. 2013, p. 15). An Australian study found that one third of children aged 8-12 didn’t venture more than 100m from their home alone (Veitch 2008). In 2015, Ben Shaw, who contin-ued Hillman’s research in the 2000s, reported in an influential study that traffic is the primary concern of parents who do not let their children walk to school (186). Similar trends have been documented in Canada (Mitra 2014). Not coin-cidentally, the main cause of death of Canadian children aged 1-18 is transport accidents (Pub-lic Health Agency of Canada 2009). As it has been defined and studied in academia, CIM is influenced by a complex set of factors including age, gender, socio-economic status, social safety and cultural norms (fig. 18). Paren-tal control is also an important factor in chil-dren’s access to space. In many countries, this control is currently characterized by near-con-tinuous supervision, leading to a gradual sepa-ration from the adult gaze around the age of 12 (Nevelsteen 2012). Insofar as children develop in environments, child’s experiences and op-portunities for learning are influenced by their guardian’s perception of environmental safety. Several characteristics of the built environment have also been linked to children’s mobility, par-ticularly school proximity, vehicular traffic, and neighborhood walkability (Tranter & Pawson 2001; Villanueva et al. 2012). Design interven-tions have been shown to improve perception of safety in cities, especially traffic infrastructure (Nevelsteen et al. 2012, Veitch 2006). Because traffic and land use appear to be the most im-portant determinants of CIM, children’s access to the city has primarily been considered an urban planning issue. However, Shaw et al.’s 20Fig. 20. Vertical Access: Stairs, Elevators, Landings. McAfee and Malczewski (1978)Fig. 21. Program diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978)Fig. 23. Privacy diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978) Fig. 24. Ownership diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978)Fig. 22. Visual connection diagram. McAfee and Malczewski (1978)212015 international review provides a surprising reference to Vancouver’s high-density housing guidelines for families. These guidelines may prove key to understanding how architecture can support child mobility.4.2 How has childhood been expressed in Vancouver design?Founded in 1867 as Hastings Mill, Vancouver grew as a port for trade and the extraction of the province’s natural resources. Early housing in the city consisted of small wooden buildings, and the city’s schools were initially of the same scale and construction (fig. 19). Following a boom in trade, the city built 34 schools between 1900 and 1920. Many of these structures are still standing: most are three to four stories tall, clad in brick, with generous grounds (fig. 19). The second spurt in school construction occurs after WWII baby boom: 24 schools are built be-tween 1950 and 1970. These structures are built on a smaller scale: schools are one to two stories high, with a return to wood cladding (fig. 19). In both the 1920s and the 1970s, children are ex-pected to reach school by foot. The 1957 School and Parks Standards allocates 0.505 acres of “school district” area per student, with a catch-ment area of approximately 800m for elementa-ry schools, and 1.3km for high schools (City of Vancouver 1957, p.10). Similar distances were represented in the 2016 Long Range Facilities Plan (VSB 2016).Until the late 1960s, most housing in Vancouver consisted of single family homes. In the 1970s, the city experienced an acute shortage of hous-ing, and lacked the space to spread out: Vancou-ver is surrounded by the ocean, steep mountains, and protected agricultural land. In 1978, the city published “Housing Families at High Densities: A resource document outlining needs, princi-ples and recommendations for designing medi-um and high density housing for families with young children.” This document is the basis for two future guidelines that will shape Vancouver: UBC’s 1982 family housing guidelines, which gave shape to much of the campus’ housing in the 1980s and 1990s, and the 1992 city guide-lines for high density family housing, still in use today, and praised as an exceptional guide to supporting child independent mobility through housing (Shaw 2015).Though it addresses smaller-scale projects, the 1978 guidelines incorporate many ideas from Perry’s neighborhood unit: high density hous-ing should not be further than 400m from an elementary school, it should be surrounded by streets with light traffic, and offer ground access to families (fig. 20). The document also recom-mends functional spatial relationships, locating children’s play areas in relationship to circula-tion, domestic labour (fig. 21), and office work (fig. 22). Finally, the 1978 guidelines cite Os-car Newman’s “Design Guidelines for Creating Defensible Space” as a precedent, and promote medium-density projects, grouping units by family type, as well a clear articulation of public and private space (fig. 23 and 24).5. CASE STUDIESTo understand how ideas about child-oriented design were translated into architecture, I an-alyzed two built projects and their respective design guidelines. The first example is the Aca-22Fig. 25. Aerial view of UBC campus: the Acadia Courts are located in the lower half of the image. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 26. Front page. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 27. Perspective. Grout et al. (1982).23dia Park townhouse development: 143 family units distributed over 6 acres at the University of British Columbia, built in 1985. The second example is Pacific Plaza I: an 11-storey apart-ment building with 2-3 bedroom units and an outdoor play area, built in 1994. 5.1 UBC Acadia Park + University Hill Ele-mentaryI chose to study the Acadia Park townhous-es because of their intriguing title as “the only housing in Vancouver built for children” (Bohle et al. 2012). Both the project’s guidelines and final design contain many parallels to the city of Vancouver’s 1978 high density family guide-lines.The first housing project for families at the Uni-versity of British Columbia was built in 1964, following the advocacy efforts of the Married Students Wives Association. These units, called the Acadia Courts, closely resemble Radburn’s residential clusters: 125 semi-detached homes, with common green space, and central parking lots (fig 25). The courts were located a few me-ters from the new UBC Child Care Centres, a daycare service and research facility for the UBC Child Study Centre (1960-1997), “a place intended to cultivate both cutting edge research and children’s imaginations” (Clark et al. 2012, p. 29). In the early 1980s, the university began to plan additional, denser family housing, in re-sponse to growing demand. A 1981 Planning document emphasizes the economic challenges of the real estate market in Vancouver 35 years ago, which appear remarkably similar to current issues: “The sharp rise in housing prices caused by the increasing numbers of people moving into the Vancouver area, combined with a limited supply of land, has significantly reduced the supply of affordable housing, especially for families. De-velopments that do exist or are being construct-ed tend to be far from campus. The possibility of speedily changing this situation by the use of mass transit, the shortening of distances, or the reduction of land values in the housing areas near the campus seems remote. The University faces the prospect of its community being in-creasingly scattered with the consequent frag-mentation of academic life” (UBC Facilities Planning 1981)In 1982, the planning department hired Wa-Fig. 30. Superblocks. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 31. Perimeter blocks. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 32. Mat buildings. Grout et al. (1982).24Fig. 28. “Do you feel safe allowing your children to play in the  Acadia Park Stu-dent Family Housing neighborhood?”. AMS (2013).Fig. 29. “Living in Acadia Park Student Family Housing, I feel that I am part of a community.” AMS (2013).Fig. 33. ‘Village street’. Grout et al. (1982). Fig. 34. Site plan. Grout et al. (1982).25isman Dewar Grout Architects and Planners to develop design guidelines for affordable, child-friendly housing in a lot next to the Aca-dia Courts. Waisman’s publication, “Housing at Acadia Park”, is both site-specific and abstract. The front cover emphasizes the forest and the mountain ranges that surround UBC. In front of this landscape are four stacked units joined by an arch and an elevated walkway. Intriguing-ly, these units closely resemble the “vertical ac-cess” diagram of the 1978 guidelines (compare fig. 20 and 26).   This nature-centric approach is continued a few pages later in a striking perspective which shows a park with wetlands, a wide path, stu-dents on bicycles, and a line of housing in the background. The caption of the image cites polymath and planner Sir Patrick Geddes: “A housing area should be merely the inhabited corner of a park.”  (fig. 27) Waisman et al. do not reference any specif-ic work of Geddes, and no trace of this exact phrase was found in an online search. Howev-er, a similar statement appears in a report from 1917, Geddes’ account of a village plan in India, where he worked late in his career: “I have laid out a new village area in a way that I believe will be found to be healthy, pleasant, and as spacious as reasonable economy will permit. The plan is, above all, adaptable; it has a mini-mum of roads and a maximum of open spaces which should be planted with trees, especially at the corners to keep it free from encroachment. […] The frontages are deliberately irregular and spaced to adjust existing benches and trees in order that the village may, as far as possible, give the effect of a real village and, with its many trees, appear rather as an inhabited corner of a park than as a new street quarter of the ordinary kind.” (Geddes 22)Many points in this paragraph recall Acadia Park: the minimum of roads and maximum of open spaces, as well the idea of irregular front-ages to create “the effect of a real village.” Fas-cinatingly, Patrick Geddes in India  (1947) in-cludes a later correspondence in which Geddes describes the relationship between design for children and design for the city:“Environment and organism, place and peo-ple, are inseparable but, since the essential unit of a city is the home, it will be as well to start by examining its especial requirements. With the dwelling we must consider its occupants, the man, the woman and the child. The child should obviously be strong, healthy, mentally developing, and normally ‘good’. The expression of these qualities all together will normally re-sult in child beauty, and full maturity and par-ticipation in life will follow. So with the wom-an, so with the man and so also with the home. This too must be stable and healthy and provide conditions for mental and moral development. It must form as substantial a part of the wealth and glory of the city as may be, with its archi-tecture, artistic character and garden developed accordingly. The same sequence is true for a city, and all others are false.” (Geddes 27)This statement can be summarized in Geddes’ views of urban planning as “folk-planning”: “Town-planning is not mere place-planning, nor even work-planning. If it is to be success-ful it must be folk-planning.” These paragraphs simultaneously evoke troubling concepts of so-cial engineering and a comprehensive view of the human condition in the built environment, Geddes’s forte. The quote also reads as a qua-si-caricature of current views on urban design 26Fig. 36. Gradations of privacy. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 35. ‘Village street’ perspective. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 38. Privacy and connection. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 37. Separating cars and living space. Grout et al. (1982).Fig. 39. Connecting home & play. Grout et al. (1982).27and public health: if the home is “stable and healthy”, the child will attain “full maturity and participation in life”. Perhaps the theme of landscape within the community is the ‘Geddes concept’ that resonates the most in “Housing at Acadia Park”. In the guidelines’ introductory statement, the firm writes: “We see landscape in all its forms playing a vital role as the matrix binding building and open space into a cohe-sive entity.” (v) In general, however, Waisman et al. appear to align themselves more closely with Clarence Perry’s views on community-building through “material and social machinery”:“Although it is somewhat naïve to expect that a physical plan can, of itself, produce a vital community; it is nevertheless a fundamental underlying belief contained in this report that by carefully developing functional relationships between buildings and activities, a true sense of community will be fostered. Thus a conscious attempt has been made to arrange in both the physical plan and guidelines those relationships and artifacts which, it is hoped, will create op-portunities for residents to observe, meet and engage in social discourse with one another in a relaxed and informal setting. In short, to create a real sense of belonging.” (Waisman et al. 1982, p.3)Moreover, the firm’s emphasis of the “street as the focus of activity” (Waisman et al. 1982, p.34) recalls the Smithson’s views on belonging and community. Conveniently, the project un-derwent post-occupancy surveys in 2013 (fig. 28 and 29): 60% of respondents agreed, or strongly agreed, that they felt “part of a community” at Acadia Park (AMS 2013, p.88). Furthermore, 87% answered “yes” to the question: “Do you feel safe allowing your children to play in the Acadia Park Student Family Housing neigh-bourhood?” (AMS 2013, p.100) These answers suggest that the Acadia Park townhouse project reached its lofty objectives, and created a com-munity through design. ‘Housing at Acadia Park’ is a compelling record of a firm’s design process. With a 6-acre site, the firm had the opportunity to explore many different configurations, each of which echoes the history of urban planning. First, they pro-pose a linear typology, a simplified version of Radburn’s superblocks (fig. 30). Indeed, every proposed typology follows Radburn’s complete separation of pedestrian and motorized traf-fic. Second, they attempt a courtyard typology, echoing European perimeter block models from the turn of the century (fig. 31). Third, they draw a “small court” typology, which resembles the ‘mat buildings’ of the ‘60s and ‘70s (fig. 32). Fi-nally, the architects settle on the concept of the “village street” (fig. 33). The origin of this term is unclear, but the emphasis on well-defined vistas echoes Unwin’s Picturesque approach to village planning. Moreover, a final perspective of the “village street” proposed at Acadia Park resembles Unwin’s sketches of existing villages in Suffolk (compare fig. 6 and 35). The ‘guidelines’ section of the document pro-vides a fine-grain approach to creating differ-entiated public and private space, citing the same dimensions for patios as the 1978 Van-couver guidelines, and clearly separating cars from shared open spaces (fig. 36 and 37). The guideline diagrams also address the question of openings and thresholds: it emphasizes the need to see and be seen, while maintaining cer-tain levels of privacy through vegetation, grade 28Fig. 40. Going out to play: comparing two architectural experiences29changes and fences (fig. 38). A further diagram shows a mother in a kitchen on the second floor calling out to a child in the common green area, illustrating direct visual contact with a dotted arrow (fig. 39). The following drawings (fig. 40-54) analyze the effect of Acadia Park and Pacific Plaza I on chil-dren’s occupation. At Acadia Park, the analysis focusses on a two-storey semi-detached unit: 2520 Melfa Lane. I met with the resident of this unit, who lives there with his partner and two children. His children attend University Hill Elementary school, which informed the home-to-school analysis. The first drawing examines the possible experience of living in either project (fig. 40). Second, the drawings examine general interactions with thresholds in a home (fig 41). At Acadia Park, the architects place large win-dows on the ground floor living areas, with the kitchen and dining room having direct views to green space and the ‘village street’ areas. A back door opens on to a small, private backyard with lattice fencing. This semi-permeable barrier al-lows for views into neighbors’ spaces, and opens onto Acadia Road, a residential street. As fig-ure 43 illustrates, this façade allows easy access to the outdoors, and facilitates physical, visual, and auditory connections to private and shared spaces. The second set of drawings (fig. 47-50) exam-ines the relationship between public and private space. First, Acadia Park’s design provides pri-vate backyards to all units, as well as intimate semi-private entrances opening onto the public street (fig. 47). Second, the small scale of the ‘village street’ feels semi-public: the numerous openings onto the street and the quasi-absence of cars emphasizes a feeling of ownership. Cars can occupy the semi-public zone, but to enter, the driver must remove a chain at the entrance gates. Third, four major “squares” are used to ac-tivate the corners of the site, with minor squares such as sandboxes located in between. Figure 48 shows two major squares, and two minor ones. In such a configuration, it appears easy for chil-dren to take a first step outside, and easy for par-ents to allow them to do so.The third series of drawings (fig. 51-54) ex-amines traffic in the space between home and school. Though almost no traffic exists within the ‘village street’, children must cross two ma-jor roads during the walk to University Hill Elementary. In between these roads, however, children travel through Pacific Spirit park (fig. 53). UHill Elementary is located at the end of a 200m driveway, with car-access throughout. Extensive fields, playgrounds, and woods make up the rest of the school grounds. 5.2 Pacific Plaza I + Elsie Roy ElementaryThe second case study is unit #306 of Pacif-ic Plaza I, an 11-storey condominium in the Yaletown neighborhood of downtown Vancou-ver. The project was chosen for three reasons: it shares an elevated central green area with an-other condominium, it is near Elsie Roy Ele-mentary, a rare public downtown elementary school, and it includes several criteria from the 1992 “High-density housing for families with children guidelines.” As mentioned in previous sections, these guidelines were identified as an international architectural example in a promi-30Fig. 41. Study of threshold interactions31nent report of child independent mobility. In 1992, the guidelines from 1978 were reedited and adopted by City Council as the “High-den-sity housing for families with children guide-lines”. The new recommendations are abridged, focussing on clear instructions for project plan-ning and unit design, without illustrations. Contrary to the Acadia Park guidelines, the 1992 document was intended to be applied to a variety of projects, from mid-rise cohousing developments to multi-storey condos. Unit #306 respects many of the 1992 Guide-lines: it contains two bedrooms, a solarium (3.25m x 3m), and a car-free elevated outdoor play area (730 m2). With 82 units, it also meets the recommendation of a 100-household maxi-mum, though it is unclear if the minimum of 20 family units is respected. The central green in-cludes cherry blossom trees, grass, and, until re-cently, a climbing play structure, which appears to have been removed in the past year (Google maps 2016). A common interior area includes a pool with a glass ceiling (fig. 50). Located in an area full of glass and steel high-rises, the hous-ing is compatible in “scale, character and mate-rials” to its neighborhood. In terms of openings (fig 45-46), the building incorporates many large storefront windows within a masonry facade. The north-east side of the unit overlooks the outdoor play area, though it has no direct access to the outside: residents must use the elevator or the stairs to access the green. This is the main criteria from the guide-lines with which the unit does not comply, though certain units on the same level of the green appear to have access to this space. In the south-east corner, the unit’s design included a solarium, though it is unclear if its windows were operable from the plans. In recent photos, the solarium is shown as an interior room. Regarding privacy (fig. 49), the condominium has two bedrooms, a spacious living room, and a floorplate of just over 100 m2 (1100 ft2). This area is slightly larger than 2520 Melfa Lane, which has an interior area of 98 m2 (1050 ft2), plus a backyard of 13 m2. Semi-private spaces include the elevator lobby, and the common green. It is possible that the central location of the green and the hard surfaces of the surrounding towers increase echoes within the green, which could cause complaints from non-family residents (fig. 50). The only “semi-public” space (accessi-ble to non-residents) is the staircase to the street on the north side of the elevated green: a locked gate prevents entry to the area. This may im-prove feelings of safety within the community.Pacific Plaza I is located only a 400m walk away from Elsie Roy Elementary (fig 51). The walk includes the major obstacle of Pacific Boule-vard, across which 2138 vehicles passed between 7 and 9 am in 2013, and the attraction of False Creek, which is periodically visible during the journey (fig 54).It is also worth noting that housing in Van-couver is remarkably expensive. Because most families with children have less capital to spend on housing, it is possible that few families are financially able to buy a unit at Pacific Plaza I. In 2016, the unit was sold for $915,000 CAD (RealtyBlock 2016).326. CONCLUSIONCities are sites of negotiation, shaped by com-peting interests and a few common objectives. In a period of increasing urban densification, it is a challenge to provide affordable residences with spaces large enough to support children’s activities and the adult socialization which is so crucial to facilitating CIM.  Acadia Park and Pacific Plaza I provide two answers to this is-sue. With very different densities, both projects respond to many of the criteria enumerated by the 1992 Vancouver guidelines for high-den-sity housing for families. The main differences between the two projects lies in the provision of semi-public space, and the ease of access the units provide to the outdoors. Acadia Park in-cludes a diverse, articulated grid of semi-pri-vate space within the public sphere. Vegetation and awnings shelter entrances, while benches, play spaces, and common rooms throughout the neighborhood allow residents to meet in-formally. In Pacific Plaza I, neighbors can meet in lobbies, elevators, the pool and the common green area. These spaces are consolidated, and formally maintained: they do not allow for resi-dent expression and appropriation. Significant-ly, residents at Pacific Plaza I are not necessarily at the same life stage: whereas Acadia Park is destined specifically for students with children, anyone can purchase a condominium in the strata building. Such a diverse population may create greater conflict in the use of shared ame-nities, such as the pool and common green, and further limit children’s access to these spaces. In conclusion, architecture can support chil-dren’s access to the city by facilitating their first steps out into the urban realm. Providing access to the ground, and easy views from the inside to common spaces appear key in our current context, though visual connections weren’t as important when my mother was young. Locat-ing residences near schools also appears to be important, though not essential to children’s independent mobility. Moreover, playful archi-tectural spaces alone cannot reverse the cultural anxiety which currently defines children’s in-dependent mobility and outdoor play. Tranter states that “to achieve more child-friendly cit-ies, and hence to achieve more sustainable cities, will require [...] a fundamental change in social values, a cultural revolution, towards great col-lective responsibility and away from individual-ism” (Tranter & Pawson 2001, 46). As I acquired greater independent mobility, my experiences as a child in the city provided a new intimacy with the built environment. Robin C. Moore suggests the term Terra Ludens, “the special quality of children’s relations with living environments and the particular knowledge and developmental support that can be acquired through playful interaction with natural materi-als and phenomena” (Moore 1986, 9). As archi-tecture influences social environments, partici-pates in the distribution of capital, and provides infrastructural amenities, it can and must sup-port children’s development. In other words, be-cause economic disparities in child development begin in infancy, providing stimulating, healthy, and safe environments for children is necessary to reduce socioeconomic inequality. Designing and curating the relationships between housing, the urban fabric, and school appears to be an important step in this direction.33Fig. 43. Study of threshold interactions - Melfa Lane unit34Fig. 44. 2520 Melfa Lane - plan35Fig. 45. Study of threshold interactions - Davie Street36Fig. 46. 283 Davie Street - plan3738Fig. 47. Melfa Lane 1:400. Gradation of privacy.3940Fig. 48. Melfa Lane 1:400. Plan.4142Fig. 49. Davie Street 1:400. Gradation of privacy.4344Fig. 50. Davie Street 1:400. Plan.45Fig. 51. Comparison of routes to school46Fig. 51. Comparison of routes to school Fig. 52. Comparison of routes to school - satellite image. Google 2017.4748Fig. 53. Walking to University Hill Elementary - experiential elevationFig. 54. Walking to Elsie Roy Elementary - experiential elevation4950Part 2: DesignEnhancing child independent mobility through design in UBC Student Family HousingIn Fall 2017, I began the design phase of the project, proposing new student family housing to replace Acadia Park, which is slated for dem-olition by 2030. The 2014 UBC Campus Plan suggests the construction of 10-storey build-ings for families on two new sites, providing high unit densities but few opportunities for children to easily access the outdoors and the public sphere. In this thesis I propose compact, street-oriented units that attain UBC’s densi-ty objectives while providing each family with a door onto the ground plane, connecting units with compelling destinations. The masterplan TRAFFICTHRESHOLDSDESTINATIONSSTIMULI+Do I know my neighbors? Can I trust them?Where do we meet?Are there other kids to play with?PRIVATE and PUBLIC SPACEand unit design attempt to apply the findings from the research in Part 1, as well as to engage with the history and character of the chosen site. Social trust appears to be the most important determinant of child independent mobility, and common spaces are designed to facilitate casual, connections between both children and parents. Because of its remarkable biodiversity and play potential, I propose to reserve one third of the site for habitat and a larger play space. Smaller destinations for play are woven throughout the site, creating a range of sites for exploration, lei-sure and retreat.Fig. 55. CIM and the environment: stimuli and obstacle51SOCIAL TRUSTPHYSICAL ACCESS•	 Separate car-pedestrian circulation•	 Street-oriented units •	 Create shared spaces •	 Play•	 Utilities•	 Commercial•	 Social•	 Articulate private + public spaceHOUSIng THAT SUPPORTS child independent mobilityFig. 56. Design strategy52Fig. 56. Design strategy Fig. 57. Site53CRITICAL MASSCONTINUOUS EDGEPARKING FOOTPRINTMAT BLDG GRID COURTYARDS ‘STREET AS LOCUS OF ACTIVITY’ DENSITY OBJECTIVE: 340 UNITS EVERY UNIT ORIENTED AROUND A PLAY SPACESUNLIGHT REACHES INNER STREETS EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR60 units/acre60 units/acreFig. 58. Masterplan iterationsFig. 59. Masterplan strategies - planning for play54HOMEWOODSBUS STOPGROCERY STORESCHOOLHOMEBIKEWORK-SHOPTO SECONDARY SCHOOLHOMECORNERSTOREFRIEND’S HOUSECOMMUNITY CENTREFig. 58. Masterplan iterationsFig. 59. Masterplan strategies - planning for playFig. 60. ‘Getting around’ - integrating the plan into the neighborhood fabric55.Grocery storeCaféGuest unitCommunity GardenLaundry LaundryLaundry LaundryLiving RoomDaycareLaundryStudy RoomCommunity CentreLaundryTrampolineFig. 61. ‘Places to meet’ - designing community space in the housing project56Fig. 62. ‘Living Room’ - communal spaces of leisure57ROOFGREENGREEN58ROOMWOODS Fig. 63. ‘A Network of Play Spaces’ 59LOCKEDBIKE STOR-AGE(14 biKeS)TRAILER STORAGEHOOKSUNLOCKEDFig. 64. ‘Stairage’ 60.CRIBUPDNUPDNUPDNDNSecond Floor - 4 bedroom unit Second Floor - 3 bedroom unitird Floor - 3+4 bedroom unitFourth Floor - 3+4 bedroom unitFig. 64. ‘Stairage’ Fig. 65. ‘Private - Public’ - designing spaces of intimacy and retreat6162Fig. 66. ‘Thresholds’63Windoor64Fig. 67. Door studies65BIBLIOGRAPHY“1306 283 Davie St., Vancouver - V6B 5T6.” 2016. RealtyBlock, http://grayli.ca/proper-ty/1306-283-davie-st-vancouver/. 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