Streets represent some of the most important elements of urban the city’s open spaces. In pre-modern cities, streets used to constitute multifunctional and densely-used spaces, working also as a playground for children. In the last decades, there has been observed a decrease in the use of streets, particularly by children, in contemporary cities, creating a new study-field for specialists, such as planners, geographers and social scientists. Given the effects of both the fear of street-criminality and traffic and taking into account changes in lifestyles, particularly due to the invasion of technology in everyday lives, children are being alienated from streets and other open public spaces. Nevertheless, street-play is still observed in many parts of the world. Taking into account all the above, this research aims at examining the interaction between children and open urban spaces -and particularly streets- considering parameters in the field of urban planning and design. More particularly, this research interprets and investigates street’s use from the point of view of ‘spatial structure’ and ‘urban morphology’. The methodology is based on a) the analysis of street-space’s structure, b) the analysis of street-space’s morphology and c) empirical fieldwork for the observation of street patterns. For the analysis of the structure of street-space, the research has applied ‘syntactic analysis of spatial configuration’ as introduced by Bill Hillier (UCL). For the analysis of the morphological properties of street space, the research introduces a methodology based on the form and meaning of the boundaries shaping street space, the land-uses, the available space and the morphology of the streets. For surveying children’s preferences, empirical fieldwork has been carried out in different residential areas of Thessaloniki –in the municipalities of Thermi, Pilea and Kalamaria-, that were chosen according to certain variables. The research comes into conclusions about the properties of streets that children choose to play at, that can be used in planning, aiming at the revitalization of streets in contemporary cities and the reclamation of streets as ‘playspace’ for children. These conclusions lead to design guidelines for Greek cities
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