Impacts of Urban Trips to Create Child Friendly Environment (Case Study: Zanjan)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD student in geography and urban planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate professor of geography and urban planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Nowadays urban spaces have become a traffic spaces and the places for automobiles. Traffic impacts on citizens in urban areas particularly children are obvious. Children who usually live near busy streets and parking sites do not have satisfied feeling about their home and life and this cannot be considered as a safe environment for life and playing. This insecure feeling and lack of desire to play and go outside are the separate factors, regardless of socio-economic status of urban neighborhoods. Being more far away from roadways can enhance the safety of children and provide clean weather for them. It is very important to design and create relaxed environment by setting limits to street performances. The concept of Child Friendly City has been formulated on the basis of the theory of citizenship rights for children from 1990. Baby Friendly is an effort to engage children to shape their environment. Zanjan as an intermediate city of the country, due to ignorance of urban development and existence of the old streets along with population growth, is faced with massive volumes of vehicles, no proper distribution and flow of urban journeys. Thus, interurban trips to the downtown must be taken into consideration as well, because of the lack of large stores in the countries and the suburbs. This problem imposes heavy traffic and increased traffic accidents. Accordingly, more than 29 percent (113,439) of the population in Zanjan are children. This would be an important reason to taken into consideration the needs of this age group as vital subject for the future of this city. 
According to the objectives of the research, we have applied a combination of descriptive and analytic methods. In this study, we have also analyzed the statistics of traffic accidents in 2011 within the several neighborhoods of Zanjan. In order to examine the relationship between urban accidents and child friendly city in this study, safe areas of urban traffic is selected randomly. The factors of this study are the percentage of accidents in the neighborhood, proximity to neighborhood parks, principles of urban design, road bumps, traffic calming and its accomplishments. Then, using GIS and overlapping the data layers have been identified for child friendly areas in the city.
Results and discussion
One of the essential issues for the child-friendly is children's safety and security in public spaces of the city. That is why in this research Zanjan neighborhoods have been studied based on physical features and lack of accidents on district roads. All accidents are investigated in Zanjan city, 92.2% male and 7.8% women. The remarkable thing is about young drivers under 18 years old. This indicates that children are not only victims of accidents but can also be a factor in increasing urban accidents. As it can be seen in the findings, child friendly neighborhoods are Baharestan, Zibashahr, Amir Kabir, Paeen Khoh, Ghodes, Olomeh Payeh, Koyeh Daneshgah. These areas in addition to low accident neighborhoods have closed network structure with open space for turning vehicles back. This fact has led to public traffic not to inter these neighborhoods and discharge into the street as a detour in rush hours. 
Since traffic system in the neighborhoods is related to the residents, the speed of vehicles is low. The drivers because of the recognition of the social and physical characteristics of these areas did not have accidents in these neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the open end of a dead end street in a safe neighborhood and public space available can lead to development and prosperity in the social interaction and creativity. In contrast to these areas, the neighborhoods of Islamabad and Etemadieh are the most inappropriate places for children, in terms of traffic and easy access to urban spaces.
According to the study and the results obtained by accidents at the local level and the appropriate traffic, the ultimate identification of child-friendly neighborhoods in the city with the lowest rate of accidents are Karmandan, Ghodea, Payyan Khoh, Shahrakeh Amirkabir, Shahrakeh Valiasr, Andisheh, Shahrakeh Laleh, Baharestan, Ghaesarea, Shahrakeh Shohada. According to analysis of these neighborhoods, the designed and constructed environments are based on the features and needs of the child in the road network design, quiet environment, and the movement of horses. In contrast to these areas, the places such as Islamabad and Etemadieh neighborhoods have had the highest accident rate. As the largest informal settlements of Zanjan, Islamabad neighborhood with the notable population density is one of the most important commercial centers of the city. The neighborhood is known for absorbing travelers. This subject along with the checkered network, local traffic and traffic flow toward sideways are used as a playground for the children, increase in the risk of accidents. Like Islamabad neighborhood, Etemadieh with checkered network, because of residence of rich people in the area, is privileged accommodation. This is more preferred by the citizens because of low population of children, access to open spaces in the neighborhood, leisure in kindergarten games, daily travel to school and home by school service and lack of outdoor space for children to play and interact with the Islamabad neighborhood.


Main Subjects

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Volume 50, Issue 2
July 2018
Pages 395-408
  • Receive Date: 29 April 2016
  • Revise Date: 14 February 2017
  • Accept Date: 14 February 2017
  • First Publish Date: 22 June 2018