Urban Research: Mapping with Children

Urban Research: Mapping with Children

Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading is a project of the City of Cape Town. It employs a crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) approach that includes significant engagement with the local community through participatory processes, with a focus on mapping the community.

It is crucial that children and young people are involved in this process.

As Ivan-Smith and Johnson note:

“Developing better methods of working with children and enabling their participation is beneficial not only to children. By including some previously invisible groups we are making our research, our programmes and our communities more inclusive, more functional and effective. Omitting a large sector of society means that everyone loses and fails to see the bigger picture. If we are unaware of the problems and issues that concern children and young people we cannot hope to devise strategies or solutions that will address their concerns, and will constantly be struggling to make sense of the world without some of the vital information we need.”

VPUU and the Ceasefire Campaign commissioned a series of workshops with children and young people in December 2012.

They sought to pilot an approach for engaging children and young people in mapping their understandings of the space that is Hanover Park.

The mapping set out to find out how young people live in and interact with the local area, which places they perceive as safe and which they perceive as unsafe, and which social and physical resources they draw on in their daily lives.