School pupils share their vision of a Child Friendly City

Statues made from giant play blocks, climbing holds on the side of buildings, outdoor “comfy” furniture, coloured water fountains – these were just some of the ideas put forward by youngsters for making Aberdeen a Child Friendly City.

In 2017, Aberdeen City Council was accepted onto Unicef’s global Child Friendly City initiative, and the Masterplan is helping support work to ensure Aberdeen is a place where all children, including the most vulnerable, feel safe, heard and nurtured.

Earlier this year more than 120 school pupils took part in a workshop at Harlaw Academy to capture their vision of a more welcoming city for people of their age. Senior pupils from Harlaw Academy and Aberdeen Grammar School facilitated the session, involving children from the primary feeder schools.

The feedback, which will be shared with Council staff and partners involved in Masterplan project delivery, was wide-ranging.

There were lots of requests for “more colour” in the city. Suggestions ranged from “a coloured water fountain” to “painting pavements to look more colourful” to “lights on Union Street all year round”.

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Trampolines and swimming pools were popular requests. Ideas for attractions included “open air movies”, “an aquarium” and a “petting zoo”. Children also wish to see more in the way of concerts and festivals.

Pupils were keen on informal play space, including artificial turf for football and a netball court. There was a call for “climbing holds on walls/sides of buildings” and one pupil imagined a supply of large play blocks “so we can make our own statues”.

Children want their city to be inclusive. “Disability friendly play equipment” and “a sensory park” were among the ideas as well with more lifts and ramps to aid movement.

There were requests for “signs at child friendly height – use pictures instead of words”, “outdoor comfy furniture”, “gardens in the city centre for growing food”, and “a no-cars zone”.

* Click here for info about schools engagement.