NATALIA KRYSIAK

Cities for Play founder and practicing architect

A practicing architect at Hayball and the founder of ‘Cities for Play’, Natalia Krysiak specialises in the design of child-oriented environments. Her area of research focuses on child-friendly cities and how the built environment can contribute to the health and wellbeing of children. In 2019 Natalia was awarded a Churchill Fellowship exploring best practice for designing child-friendly neighbourhoods in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and the UK. Her research investigates design interventions and policies that focus on neighbourhood liveability for children and parents in urban environments. Based on her research, Natalia founded Cities for Play which aims to inspire designers, planners and communities on how to design more child-friendly and playful cities.

Presentation outline: Reimagining Neighbourhoods through Play
As the contemporary British painter David Hockney once said “we tend to forget that play is serious”. The power of play to generate neighbourhood life, provide joy to communities and prepare children for an increasingly complex world must not be underestimated.

As we recognise the benefits of play to the development of children and the happiness of communities, we should consider how we can allow for play to flourish within our cities. This means creating “playable” neighbourhoods with diverse networks of play opportunities which connect children to their communities. Importantly, the voice of our youngest citizens must be at the forefront of these discussions, ensuring that children’s needs are truly considered through a genuine co-creation process.

Based on her research, Natalia Krysiak will delve into international best-practice for designing child-friendly neighbourhoods and highlight opportunities within urban design and planning to prioritise spaces for play and active mobility of children. With an increasing body of research linking children’s play and active mobility to creating healthier and more resilient communities, the topic has paramount importance for our communities.

NATALIA KRYSIAK