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Children’s interactions with public space: Observing children’s experienced affordances in a housing estate in Brno, Czechia

Daniel Kaplan

The presented paper examines interactions between public spaces in a housing estate and children. Here, the relationship between the child and the environment is interpreted through the perspective of Gibson´s affordances – an approach that has been employed many times since it appeared in different spatial contexts. Affordances are interactions/relationships between humans and the object or human and its environment. This research is focused on a housing estate in the Czech Republic in Brno. A non-participant covert observation was the main research method. Heft’s functional taxonomy of children’s affordances has been applied as a tool to classify these interactions and they are later confronted with the proposed variation in the taxonomy. The study includes modifications to the original taxonomy, adding a category (snow) and merging another (water). Other influences on children’s affordances are adults (caretakers) and temporality as well as child body size, as the spectrum of active affordances differs between bigger and smaller children.