© 2017

Risk, Protection, Provision and Policy

  • Claire Freeman
  • Paul Tranter
  • Tracey Skelton
  • Comprehensive text, the first ever on the subject of Children’s and Young People’s Geographies

  • Authoritative figures from the field have working together as volume editors

  • Will be continuously updated on SpringerReference.Com

  • Presents easily digested information supported adequately by illustrative material

  • Speaks to a wide range of audience from geographers to sociologists, demographers to social workers, and policy makers to development agencies

Reference work

Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Provision

  3. Protection: Safety and Risk

  4. Policy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 285-285
    2. Amy Donovan Blondell, Marjorie J. Robertson, Claire D. Brindis, Andrea Anastasia Papanastassiou, Sarah J. Bradley
      Pages 309-343

About this book


The volume provides an overview of recent research (within geography and allied disciplines) around the overarching concept of ‘safe and accessible places of encounter’. It develops according to three interrelated themes.  The first part of the volume examines several of the many spaces children use and that are relevant to the geographies of children and young people including: the city centre and inner city high rise housing, urban versus suburban and rural spaces, local neighbourhoods, the ‘home’ (for particular groups of children and young people such as child domestic workers in Bangladesh), school playgrounds, services (such as domestic violence shelters), outdoor natural spaces, and “life space” (where music and arts are presented in a non-political space in Bosnia-Herzegovina). The second part examines how notions of safety, protection and risk relate to providing children and young people with good life chances, and accessible spaces that enhance or reduce well-being. This middle section emphasises the debate about risk and the need to balance risk and safety/protection.

The final part focuses on policy that builds on the provision/identification of spaces, safety/protection and risk. The emphasis is on how policy at different levels (international-national-local-family) helps provide better spaces of encounter and enhances life chances for children and young people. This section also recognises the different levels of policy making associated with different parts of the world and different regional settings. The gap between policy intentions and outcomes is recognised (e.g Cambodia’s policies on orphanage tourism). The policy section includes contributions that relate to planning, education, migration, architecture, health, connection and citizenship, and sustainability. It provides insights into how professionals working in these fields can, through policy, enhance children’s and young people’s lived experiences and living environments.p>


Cultural geography Development geography Emotional and affective geography Feminist geography Formation of geographies of children and young peoples

Editors and affiliations

  • Claire Freeman
    • 1
  • Paul Tranter
    • 2
  • Tracey Skelton
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Physical, Environmental and MaUniversity of New South Wales CanberraCanberra BCAustralia
  3. 3.Department of GeographyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

About the editors

Claire Freeman is currently a Professor at the Department of Geography, University of Otago, New Zealand where she teaches undergraduate Geography students and in the Master of Planning Programme. Claire has previously worked At Massey University New Zealand, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, and the University of the North West in South Africa, and as a planner for the Urban Wildlife Trust in Birmingham, UK. She has been a visiting researcher and fellow at Queens University Belfast and the University of Queensland, Australia. As a planner she is deeply concerned about creating better environments for all, but especially for children and young people, and in 2015 visited, Singapore, UK, Australia and the Netherlands to explore new planning developments and biodiversity initiatives.

Her interests are in environmental planning including: sustainable communities, planning for children and young people and planning with nature. Interest in the environment has been a major research thrust with work on drought and community development in rural communities in South Africa, planning for urban nature and urban conservation and people’s relationships with nature in domestic gardens. She is currently working on a study about how relationships to nature in the home environment change as people age. 

Claire’s main area of research is planning, children and young people and the ways planning can enhance living environments so that they work better for children and young people. In 1999 with Paul Henderson and Jane Kettle she co-authored one of the first books on children and planning: “Planning with Children for Better Communities”. In 2011 Claire and Paul Tranter published their book Children and their Urban Environment: Changing Worlds (Earthscan) which provides a comprehensive account of how the urban environment impacts on children's lives. She is also co-author with Nancy Higgins of the book (2013) ‘Childhoods: Growing up in Aotearoa New Zealand’.

A few of her recent research projects are as follows:

1.       “Natural neighbourhoods for City Children”: working with Natural scientists and 187 children living in New Zealand cities she explored how children in cities today make connections with nature and what are the factors that facilitate or frustrate that connection.

2.       “Dislocation following the Christchurch Earthquake: Children and Young People’s Experiences”:  working with education specialists the study listened to the voices of 954 children and young people whose lives had been impacted by the earthquake who spoke about the effects of  the earthquake on their daily lives and the places they lived.

3.       “Pacific urbanization and children’s changing lives”: working with educational colleagues in the Pacific, Fiji and Kiribati, the study explored how as the Pacific is urbanising children’s relationships to the urban area are changing physically and in terms of their social relationships.

4.       “Yes we can! Pre-schoolers as evaluators of their city”: This research with Dr C Ergler gets pre-school children to build cities using sometimes hundreds of picture cards.

The above projects build on a strong interest in children’s relationship to place, especially their local neighbourhoods and how these relationships are changing in response to changed parenting practices, increased transport and more mobile lives. 

Paul Tranter is an Associate Professor in geography at UNSW Canberra, where his research on children’s geographies began in the early 1990s. He conducted the first Australian and New Zealand study into children’s independent mobility. Since then Paul has researched children’s independent mobility and active travel, child health and well-being, play and risk, environmental learning, child-friendly environments and children’s rights.

Paul was a member of the CATCH/iMATCH research teams (Children, Active Travel, Connectedness and Health / Independent Mobility, Active Travel and Children’s Health).  These projects, funded by Australian Research Council Discovery and Linkage Grants, involved national research studies of children’s mobility and health and the policy interventions that facilitate these.

Working with Karen Malone, Paul’s research in Melbourne and Canberra schools examined how some schoolgrounds stimulate play that enhances environmental learning and reduces levels of fighting and bullying.  Paul is also a member of the multi-disciplinary Sydney Playground Project team, examining the benefits of outdoor play and the impact of interventions in school grounds to encourage this play. This research is currently focussing on children with disabilities.

As well as research on school grounds and children’s mobilities, Paul as examined children’s use of the residential street as a play space, demonstrating that children’s play on residential streets has immense value not only for children’s well-being, but also for their parents, the wider community and the environment.  Taking a global perspective, Paul and Scott Sharpe examined the theme of “children and peak oil”, showing that an awareness of the challenges of energy stress could provide the impetus for societal changes enhancing children’s rights.  Paul also examined innovative ways to communicate serious topics within children’s geographies.  With Scott Sharpe, he showed how the Disney/Pixar movie Monsters, Inc. could be used as an allegory to illustrate how the current reliance on a particular form of energy (oil) could be linked with an undermining of children’s rights (including their right to play).

In 2011, Paul co-authored Children and their Urban Environment:  Changing Worlds, with Claire Freeman, placing children’s well-being within the context of global concerns about health and well-being for all citizens.  The book argues that adaptations to cities that are child-centred need to be made if the world is to have a sustainable future, and describes changes that can make our cities more child friendly and more liveable for all city residents.

As well as his academic research, Paul has presented numerous keynote addresses at a range of conferences and events with a focus on children’s well-being and liveable cities, including international WALK21 and Velocity conferences. He is currently combining his research interests on children’s geographies with the theme of the “speed paradox”.  Paul’s research demonstrates that the child-friendly modes (walking, cycling and public transport) are also the modes that (paradoxically) reduce time pressure for urban residents.

Tracey Skeltonpan style="font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; font-size: 12pt;"> is Associate Professor of Human Geography in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore. She was previously Professor of Critical Geographies at the University of Loughborough in the UK. The essential elements of her research career focus on people who are socially, politically, and intellectually excluded. Her early work focused on the Caribbean and issues of gender and racial inequality, feminist geographies, and methodological analysis. She has contributed to culture and development debates, particularly through her longitudinal research on the island of Montserrat. Recently, A/P Skelton returned to this field of scholarship through research with volunteers and host organizations in Cambodia as part of a major comparative and collaborative project on development partnerships. She was the principal investigator of a major comparative urbanism research project on the livability, sustainability, and diversity of four Asian cities: Busan in South Korea, Hyderabad in India, Kunming in China, and Singapore.

A/P Skelton is a recognized international leader in the subdiscipline of children’s and young people’s geographies. In particular, her work has served to challenge the invisibility and marginalization of young people from geographic academic research at the same time as it has demonstrated the rich and varied ways in which young people live their lives both spatially and temporally alongside, but differently from, adults. Her research work has been funded by key research institutions such as the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK; the Faculty of Arts and Social Science Academic Research Fund and the Global Asia Institute, both of the National University of Singapore; the Australian Research Council; and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

A/P Skelton was a founding editorial board member of the international journal Children’s Geographies and has been the Viewpoints Editor since 2005 and became the Commissioning Editor for Asia in 2010. She is on the editorial boards of the following journals: Geoforum, the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Geography Compass, and ACME: International Journal of Critical Geographies (open access). She has coauthored 2 books, edited 3 collections, guest-edited 2 special journal issues, and published more than 70 journal articles and chapters. She is a passionate teacher and graduate supervisor. She is committed to the politics of research dissemination in accessible formats, in particular to enable the participants in her research projects to understand and recognize their coproduction of knowledge whether through specialized small-scale workshops, translation of reports into local languages, or production of audiovisual materials.

Bibliographic information