Designing Better Neighborhoods

Child on Playground


Prioritizing Urban Playgrounds For Kids: Working Hard For Better Play

At Hebrew University’s Urban Clinic, experts asked “If you could experience the city from 95 centimeters - the height of an average 3-year-old - what would you change?” After three years of work with urban planners and early childhood experts in nearly a dozen cities, Hebrew University’s Urban 95 project has a lot to show.

As a result of the work of the Urban Clinic in partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Jerusalem is remodeling playgrounds to enhance early childhood development, using Urban Clinic research to evaluate playground improvements with parents and children. In Beersheva, a new neighborhood will include “child priority zones” based on Urban Clinic recommendations. In Elad, an ultra-Orthodox town where the average age is 8, new neighborhoods are incorporating the Urban Clinic’s guidelines for playful streets. The Government is now looking to adapt our findings into national urban design guidelines.  Towards this end, we created a video clip showing the city from a 3-year-old’s point of view.

At the Urban Clinic, students work together with leading professionals in projects like Urban 95, placemaking, and community planning in Jerusalem.  The hands-on courses, internships and applied research aim to nurture urban leadership for more livable and inclusive cities.