[ONLINE] Child-Friendly Placemaking: How Children Are Leading the Transformation of Community Spaces

Heidi Campbell, Senior Manager, Evergreen Canada.

We are excited to share with you our inclusive child-friendly approach to placemaking and creating more inclusive and connected communities in cities.

You will learn our process of prioritizing children’s involvement in assessing community needs and interests, and in design and decision-making processes.

We will share our most recent approach to child-friendly placemaking through virtual platforms and collaborative processes for creating climate ready schools and resilient communities.

Our experiences working directly with schools, municipalities and communities has built capacity with thousands of children and adults, transforming spaces across Canada, and raising awareness about the benefits of embedding child-friendly placemaking in existing city building policy and practice.

We will share our creative, fun and place-based activities that will enable participants to experience, through the arts, role playing, somatic and sensory reflections, a small taste of the work we do in communities. We plan to take everyone outside for a portion of this workshop, so come prepared to experience the outdoors!

Participants will learn how to:

  • Plan, design, and facilitate capacity building workshops with children and youth
  • Embed local partners into their work (Indigenous, multi-generational, businesses, non-governmental organizations, youth, and other stakeholders).
  • Apply the lessons learned from our work (Climate Ready Schools, the City of Vaughn, the City of Barrie, Diamond Kilmer Developments and the City of Toronto, etc)
  • Deliver this approach in a virtual setting.

Who should attend

People in education, municipalities / councils, community groups.

About Heidi and Paula

The two facilitators, Heidi Campbell and Paula Gallo, have specific experience working in child-friendly approaches, education, landscape design and placemaking with education systems, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and communities, both internationally and within Canada.

Paula Gallo is a Child-Friendly Placemaking consultant at Recreate Place, specializing in co-creating resilient and participatory urban communities. She has spent close to 20 years designing innovative engagement experiences and programs for adults, children and youth, with Metro Vancouver, UNICEF Canada, Save the Children Sweden and Evergreen. Paula is committed to building healthier and more connected communities through collaborating with organizations (schools, municipalities and businesses) that directly impact children and their neighbourhoods. She has co-created the following programs: UNICEF Canada’s Rights Respecting School Initiative, Save the Children Sweden’s Positive Discipline in Everyday Teaching, Evergreen’s Professional Learning for Educators, and Evergreen’s Child-Friendly Placemaking and Participatory Design model. She worked closely with UNICEF UK to adapt their Rights Respecting Schools program to the Canadian context, and then trained UNICEF colleagues in Sweden and Denmark in the Canadian model. She began her career as a high school teacher, and has a Masters’ in Planning from the University of Toronto.

Heidi is a design professional and facilitator, with a focus on participatory planning and design approaches for healthy, inclusive urban environments. Over the past twenty years, Heidi has specialized in the design and development of child-friendly urban environments. In collaboration with Evergreen, a national charity that helps build flourishing cities, and an international network of planners, educators, and design professionals, she leads iterative placemaking processes that engage the public in realizing vibrant, resilient spaces for their communities. Heidi has authored several landscape standards and guideline documents with school boards across Canada focused on the design of children’s outdoor play and learning environments, most notably, Landscape and Child Development: A Guide for Early Years–Kindergarten Play–Learning Environments. Heidi’s most recent publication, The Power of Play: Child-Led Placemaking in Parks, in The City at Eye Level for Kids, is an example of this work within a city context — part of an open-source project funded by Urban95 a Bernard van Leer Foundation initiative.

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