Children and Town Centres

Breaking the downward spiral: current trends and future responses of children to their town centres (1994 – 1995) and Facing the future: towards a greater understanding of children and their urban environments, (1995 – 1996)

These two consecutive projects were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). They sought to develop an understanding of the perception of and use that children aged 6-11 made of their town centres first of all using quantitative and then qualitative methods. As a result of this research Helen developed an interest in skateboarders and how they use urban open spaces. In recent years this has resulted in an understanding of how society seeks to control skateboarder’s use of civic open spaces, in city centres in the north of England.

Woolley, H. (2000) Town Centre Management Awareness: an aid to developing young people´s citizenship, Cities, 17(6) pp 453-459.

Spencer, C. and Woolley, H. (2000) Children and the city: A summary of recent environmental psychology research, Child: Care, Health and Development, 26: 1-18 (by invitation)

Woolley, H. and Spencer, C. (2000) Participating in their towns: Children Feel Ignored, Streetwise, 39, 10(3): 16-18.

Woolley, H., Dunn, J., Spencer, C., Short, T. and Rowley, G. (1999) Children Describe their Experiences of the City Centre: a qualitative study of the fears and concerns which may limit their full participation, Landscape Research, 24 (3) 287-301 (by invitation).

Spencer, C., Woolley, H., Dunn, J. and Rowley, G. (1999) The Child as Citizen: Experiences of British Town and City Centres, Journal of Urban Design, 4 (3) 255-282 (by invitation)



Image used under Creative Commons Licence ( from Mothlike