Towards Child-Friendly Streetscape in Migrant Workers’ Communities in China: A Social–Ecological Design Framework

Qianxi Zhang, Xinkai Wang, Yat Ming Loo, Wu Deng, Weixuan CHEN, Mindong Ni, Ling Cheng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Designing child-friendly streetscapes is a pragmatic and effective approach to addressing the limited outdoor play spaces and social exclusion experienced by migrant children living in vulnerable residential areas. However, the existing research and guidelines on streetscape design lack specificity for migrant workers’ communities and fail to provide full-cycle design process guidance for real-world practices. By taking a social–ecological perspective and synthesizing the existing literature, this paper develops an integrated design framework with seven indicators to guide three stages of child-friendly streetscape regeneration in migrant workers’ communities. The effectiveness of this framework was validated by application in a case project in a typical migrant workers’ community in Ningbo, China. The results show that the social–ecological design framework can help maximize opportunities for various children’s activities on the street with limited spatial resources. It also contributes to creating inclusive streetscapes to promote social cohesion by integrating social and cultural elements, children’s participation, and place-making activities. However, institutional barriers, cultural norms, and limited resources impede children’s participation and sustainable operations, which calls for more attention to be paid to “software” building. The new framework and research findings serve as a valuable guide and reference for practitioners in the field of child-friendly environmental design, especially in the context of marginalized communities in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1826
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • child-friendly streetscape
  • China
  • community regeneration
  • migrant workers
  • social–ecological design framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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