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Which clippings match 'Urban Mapping' keyword pg.1 of 1
17 NOVEMBER 2014

Mapping the geography of childhood playscapes

"In 1972, the British–born geography student Roger Hart settled on an unusual project for his dissertation. He moved to a rural New England town and, for two years, tracked the movements of 86 children in the local elementary school, to create what he called a 'geography of children,' including actual maps that would show where and how far the children typically roamed away from home. Usually research on children is conducted by interviewing parents, but Hart decided he would go straight to the source. The principal of the school lent him a room, which became known as 'Roger's room,' and he slowly got to know the children. Hart asked them questions about where they went each day and how they felt about those places, but mostly he just wandered around with them. Even now, as a father and a settled academic, Hart has a dreamy, puckish air. Children were comfortable with him and loved to share their moments of pride, their secrets. Often they took him to places adults had never seen before–playhouses or forts the kids had made just for themselves.

Hart's methodology was novel, but he didn't think he was recording anything radical. Many of his observations must have seemed mundane at the time. For example: 'I was struck by the large amount of time children spend modifying the landscape in order to make places for themselves and for their play.' But reading his dissertation today feels like coming upon a lost civilization, a child culture with its own ways of playing and thinking and feeling that seems utterly foreign now. The children spent immense amounts of time on their own, creating imaginary landscapes their parents sometimes knew nothing about. The parents played no role in their coming together–'it is through cycling around that the older boys chance to fall into games with each other,' Hart observed. The forts they built were not praised and cooed over by their parents, because their parents almost never saw them.

Through his maps, Hart discovered broad patterns: between second and third grade, for instance, the children's 'free range'–the distance they were allowed to travel away from home without checking in first–tended to expand significantly, because they were permitted to ride bikes alone to a friend's house or to a ball field. By fifth grade, the boys especially gained a 'dramatic new freedom' and could go pretty much wherever they wanted without checking in at all. (The girls were more restricted because they often helped their mothers with chores or errands, or stayed behind to look after younger siblings.) To the children, each little addition to their free range–being allowed to cross a paved road, or go to the center of town–was a sign of growing up. The kids took special pride, Hart noted, in 'knowing how to get places,' and in finding shortcuts that adults wouldn't normally use."

(Hanna Rosin, April 2014, The Atlantic)

Roger Hart (1979). "Children's Experience of Place", Irvington.

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TAGS

1972 • ad-hoc geographies • alone but not lonely • being allowed • childhood agency • creating imaginary landscapes • dissertation project • elementary school • environmental psychology • environments for children • fifth grade • free range playgrowing upHanna Rosin • how children learn • how children play • kid-oriented experienceslearning by doing • making places • modifying landscape • New England • observation (data collection) • open spacesopen-ended play spaces • overprotection • patterns of usepersonal autonomypersonal freedompersonal responsibility • places for children • play fort • playhouses • playscapes • riding bikes • risk-taking • Roger Hart • route mapscriptible spaces • second grade • smooth phenomenal spacesocial constructionismsocial geographysocial researchspaces for childrenthird gradeurban mapping

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 JUNE 2014

Handwritten directions from strangers used to map Manhattan

"A map of Manhattan composed of hand–drawn maps by various New York pedestrians whom the artist asked for directions.

Pretending to be a tourist by wearing a souvenir cap and carrying a shopping bag of Century 21, a major tourist shopping place, I ask various New York pedestrians to draw a map to direct me to another location. I connect and place these small maps based on actual geography in order to make them function as parts of a larger map."

(Nobutaka Aozaki, 2012)

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TAGS

2012around us • asking for directions • cartographycity maps • draw a map • geographical locationhand-drawnhand-drawn mapshand-scrawledlocation-specificManhattanmapmapmakingmappingNew YorkNew Yorker • Nobutaka Aozaki • outline drawing • pedestrian • personal cartographyphysical geographyphysical spaceplacerandomness • shopping bag • souvenir cap • spatial environments • tourist • urban mappingwayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 SEPTEMBER 2013

Mapping Manhattan: a public art project mapping personal experience

"Becky Cooper, a 24–year–old cartographer and writer... asked New Yorkers–and visitors–to map their own versions of Manhattan. She took to the streets, distributing 3,000 copies of a hand–printed outline of the island and encouraged participants to "map who you are or where you are; the invisible or the obvious". All copies were self–addressed and stamped so they could be mailed back to her.

Cooper says around 10% of the maps were mailed back and Mapping Manhattan features 75 of the best contributions. Some are heartbreaking (one person mapped key places in his life, from the first apartment he shared with his wife to where she later died); many invoke humour (a map of lost gloves, pictured above); some are confessions (a student who shows how she funded her studies with work at various strip joints). Some are handscrawled in biro, others are collages, and a few use watercolours."

(Vicky Baker, 15 May 2013, The Guardian)

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2009 • Adam Gopnik • around us • Becky Cooper • belongingbirocartographycity mapscultural memorydaily activitydiversity of experienceshand-drawnhand-drawn maps • hand-printed outline • hand-scrawled • heartbreaking • juxtapositionlocation-specificManhattanmapmakingmapping • Mapping Manhattan (project) • memoryNew YorkNew Yorkeroutline drawingpathpersonal cartographypersonal experienceplacepublic artqualitative descriptionsrememberingspatial narrative • strip joint • territoryurban mappingwayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 OCTOBER 2012

Open Urban: Know Your City - Map, Inform, Discuss

"OpenUrban is the first open source user–generated web map and forum focusing on current and proposed urban development. It is a web platform for civic collaboration, a venue for debate, and an outlet and archive for information on urban development. We embrace crowd sourcing technology as a means to inform and empower. By combining written media with spatial information OpenUrban creates a powerful tool for people to understand how their cities are changing and supports their active participation in that change."

(OpenUrban, 2012)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 JANUARY 2012

The Revival of Psychogeography

"Psychogeography is hot. Guy Debord, founding member of Situationist International and the man who coined the term in 1955, defined the phenomenon as 'the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals'. In fact, psychogeography is the art of strolling, or just about anything that gets pedestrians off their predictable paths and leads them to a new awareness of the urban landscape. Recently we've seen a remarkable psychogeographic revival driven by several artistic urban projects and smartphone applications."

(Jeroen Beekmans, 4 January 2012, The Pop–Up City)

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1955 • Adam Greenfield • Android appsappsart • art of strolling • artistic urban project • augmented reality • augmented sound • awarenesscitydaily routinederivedrift • Emilie Giles • encountersenvironmentescapeexploration • exploring the city • flaneur • forgotten places • geographical environment • Guy Debord • Inception app • Ingrid Burrington • interactive encounters • iPhoneiPhone app • iPhone apps • iPod Touch • Loneliness Map • lonely individuals • Lost London • mapmapping • missed connections • new technologiesperception of realityperformativityphenomena • Pratt Manhattan Gallery • predictable cities • psychogeographic experiences • psychogeographic explorations • psychogeographypublic spacerealityroute • Serendipitor • serendipitySituationist International • smartphone applications • smartphone apps • strollersurprisetechnology • unpredictable paths • urban landscapeurban mappingurban planningyou are here

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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