Who owns the city? An exploration and reflection of children's (re)production of public spaces

Authors: Jana Pokraka*, University of Duisburg-Essen
Topics: Geography Education, Social Geography, Cartography
Keywords: children's geographies, geomedia, mapping
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Marshall West, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper examines the exploration of power relations related to children’s participation in public space, following the central question of “who owns the city?”, and thus focusing on children’s geomedia-based and -communicated reflections of spatial and social in- and exclusion from the background of children’s geographies (Skelton 2008) and an education for Spatial Citizenship (Gryl & Jekel 2012). Hereby, the focus lies on an analysis of intersectional power relations (Crenshaw 1989) along categories such as age, gender, and socio-economic background, that emerge around the (re)production of public urban space (Lefebvre 1991) on the one hand and social space within children’s (spatial) negotiations on the other hand. The empirical basis of this paper derives from a workshop that was conducted with 6 to 10 year-olds in a voluntary vacation programme in the city of Essen, Germany. The children explored and mapped their places of comfort and discomfort in the city-centre to create a counter-map with an alternative spatial vision of the study area. The paper presents a qualitative analysis of data that includes audio recordings of group discussions and -reflections, subjective paper maps as well as digital maps, photographs and field notes.

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