Integration of Children in Urban Space Social Studies Workshop with Finn Williams:
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) were introduced by the British Government in 1998 as a way of clamping down on community based problems often associ- ated with young people that would not ordinarily warrant criminal prosecution. If someone over ten years old is shown to have engaged in anti-social behaviour, the courts can issue an ASBO against them, which tells them how they must not behave.
So who decides what counts as anti-social behaviour? The law deines anti-so- cial behaviour as things like noise pollution, ‘yobbish behaviour’, or vandalism. But aren’t groups of young people listening to music, playing football, or painting grafiti together also taking part in social behaviour? Rather than using our legal and built environment to limit how young people behave, shouldn’t young peo- ple’s behaviour inform the way we design the city, so that it can be used in more positive social ways?
ASBOs are an extreme example, particular to Britain, that only affects young people over the age of ten. But they are indicative of the way our environment is design by adults, for adults, on the terms of adults – often to the exclusion of the child’s perspective.
This project will lip the conditions of the city that constrain, segregate or con- trol childhood on their head. Starting by observing and recording physical and non-physical ways that the city limits the behaviour of children (and parents of children), I propose simple design intervention to invert these conditions so that they encourage and enable social behaviour. In other words, Anti-Anti-Social Behaviour Orders