Big Data and Adolescent Play in Public Space
Significant strides have been made through design and policy on “youth rights to the city” toward improve young people’s health and wellbeing outcomes. However, adolescents, especially minorities, are frequently confronted with institutionalized disparities as they are denied access to participate in urban, public space, through policy (e.g., posted ‘no loitering’ placards), policy implementation (e.g., police profiling and monitoring), and physical barriers (e.g., skate stops). The current situation has led to a lack of adequate data to support design and policy to improve youth outcomes because: 1. only within the past decade have young people been recognized as having positive developmental opportunities associated with activities outside of home and school; 2. young people, especially those facing socio-economic disparities, are aware of their a priori delinquent status in public space and typically move-along in the presence of an unknown adult. Their status limits current research to known samples, such as focus groups and participatory ethnographic methods. While multiple comparative indices on youth health, well-being, and academic success exist, no similar large data set on young people’s participation in public life is available.
This abstract is published as Shirtcliff, B. Big Data and Adolescent Play in Public Space. CCLR 15 Book of Proceedings: 15th Canadian Congress on Leisure Research May 23-26, 2017 held at Kitchener, ON. Posted with permission.