While there is increasing awareness of the central role that neighbourhoods and environmental factors have on child safety, we know very little about children’s perceptions of the natural and built environment, especially those children living in challenging or chronically-under-resourced circumstances.
To address this gap, Dr Diane Levine and Dr Sarah Johnson, in partnership with a team at the University of Johannesburg led by Dr Sadiyya Haffejee have been exploring children’s perceptions and experiences of ‘safety’ in townships in South Africa. We have been doing transect walks with children around their local area, photographing places they feel safe and unsafe, and talking with them about their experiences.
We have also run focus groups with the children, creating physical and drawn maps of their locations.
Finally, we are using high resolution satellite remote sensing techniques to reveal and explore the environmental parameters and urban forms that children experience as safe and unsafe.