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:: Volume 36, Number 158 (9-2017) ::
JHRE 2017, 36(158): 63-76 Back to browse issues page
Designing and Implementing Child-Friendly Spaces after the 2003 Bam Earthquake
Dr Alireza Fallahi, Miss Hedyeh Gamini Esfahani
Master of Post Disaster Reconstruction Master of Post Disaster Reconstruction, Shahid Beheshti University,Iran , hedye.gamini@gmail.com
Abstract:   (155 Views)
Catastrophes often impose negative impacts on children.  The purpose of establishing post-disaster "child-friendly spaces" is to provide an opportunity for children to shape or change their surroundings in addition to create suitable physical and psychological conditions that facilitate a faster rehabilitation of children after disasters. On December 26, 2003, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 on the Richter scale hit the city of Bam in Kerman Province. As a result, many children suffered from, and faced, many issues such as legal, psychological, anatomic, economic, social problems. They needed constant and urgent psychological and social support including access to safe places for leisure and recreation to overcome their psychological pressures.  After the earthquake of 2003 governmental and international organizations and NGOs got involved in planning and implementing several projects for creating such spaces for children. These spaces are known as child friendly spaces in Bam and have been at the center of attention of the authorities during the first days after the earthquake.
Nevertheless, due to a lack of documented experiences of such projects inside the country, these activities were carried out through trial and error. It seems that, 10 years after the earthquake, an evaluation of the impacts of child-friendly spaces is particularly important. This paper presents a qualitative assessment of these projects, relying on the content analysis of the collected data. In this study, interviews and focus group meetings were conducted, with those who aged between 3-13 at the time of the earthquake, who became juvenile and adolescent in the time of data collection, along with their parents and educators working in child friendly spaces; and thus comments of children in relation to child friendly spaces were collected and analyzed. All interviewees and informants used child-friendly spaces. Furthermore, the researchers have conducted field observation, interview and participatory observation with the aim of collecting and analyzing documents and reports relevant to the event. In this study documents and reports of governmental organizations such as national welfare organization, international organizations like UNICEF and also non-governmental organizations like the society for protecting working children were analyzed, and the required information has been extracted. The results show that despite the shortfalls of these projects, the effect of child-friendly spaces on children's communication skills has been very significant. 
Children have emphasized the importance of such spaces for building relationships with their peers and how these spaces provided them with an opportunity to interact in the society, heightened their awareness of risks and enhanced their social skills and capabilities. Results also indicate that although most children expressed satisfaction with these spaces, there are still challenges in terms of planning and design of such spaces. For example, children’s suggestions for an optimal planning and design of such spaces included considering local climate and vernacular architectural know-how in designing such spaces, providing suitable furniture, interior design and equipment for children, separating toilets for girls and boys, the use of resistant and waterproof tents with colorful drawings. Furthermore, increasing green spaces and interior spaces as well as providing a safe access to such facilities were requested by children for designing child friendly spaces in Bam.  
Keywords: post-disaster planning and design, child-friendly spaces, earthquake in Bam, content analysis.
Full-Text [PDF 515 kb]   (98 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: محیط کالبدی
Received: 2015/04/25 | Accepted: 2017/04/4 | Published: 2017/09/10
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Fallahi A, Gamini Esfahani H. Designing and Implementing Child-Friendly Spaces after the 2003 Bam Earthquake . JHRE. 2017; 36 (158) :63-76
URL: http://jhre.ir/article-1-1045-en.html
Volume 36, Number 158 (9-2017) Back to browse issues page
فصلنامه مسکن و محیط روستا Journal of Housing and Rural Environment
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