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What is Kids’ Tracks?


It seems that the majority of municipalities in Norway have a greater knowledge as to the movements of elks rather than that of children and adolescents. Although children and adolescents have a legal right to participate in society, most Norwegian municipalities seem to lack a firm understanding of their exact wants and needs. This is where Kids’ Tracks can really make a difference.

Kids’ Tracks is a digital registration tool that gives a clearer indication of children’s movements in and around their surrounding area, which places they like and don’t like.

Kids’ Tracks also shows children how participation in planning processes works, and how they can be aware of and care for their rights at a young age. This not only benefits the children themselves, but also serves as a solid guideline for society as a whole.

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By participating in Kids’ Tracks children get an opportunity to help in the development of society, whilst communicating directly with town planners and local politicians.

Kids’ Tracks is adapted to Norwegian standards on base maps and user authentication. It is therefore only applicable to Norwegian schools and municipalities.

Kids’ Tracks is financed by the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation and developed by The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture, together with the Norwegian Centre for Science Education, the University in Bergen and the designteam BENGLER.

Incorporating Kids’ Tracks within the classroom at school

Kids’ Tracks is easy to implement and can be done by a teacher or town planner by logging into barnetråkk.no. The registration takes between one and three hours, although it is advisable to allow for a few extra hours of pre and post-production time.

What you require

  • A school class and a teacher who can implement Kids’ Tracks
  • A municipal employee, i.e. a town planner
  • Parental consent
  • Data facilities at school

Target groups

  • Children and adolescents
  • Teachers and academic environments
  • Town planners, transport, public health, children’s representatives in municipals and public administration
  • Other child caring services
  • Professionals within the fields of design, architecture or urban development

Preparatory questions before registration

In order to better prepare pupils prior to the actual registration itself, a teacher should encourage them to reflect on their community, and their likes and dislikes within it first. Asking questions such as:

  • Think about the route you take to and from school
  • How do you feel about it?
  • What places are pleasant and why?
  • Are there any particular places that you find scary or dangerous?
  • Do you wish for any specific features where you live? Describe

Registrering

Step 1
Pupils locate their school, their home and their route to school on the map to orient themselves and become familiar with the map.

Step 2
Pupils will be asked to draw their route to school.

Step 3
On the map, using selected icon stickers that highlight places as either positive or negative, pupils get the chance to describe places they like and don’t like, and what activities they associate with at those locations.

Step 4
After pupils have registered their data, it is collected up and written as a joint report that summarizes the main points, which is then sent to the municipality.

Step 5
When the registration is finished, the results will be available for planners to use as a resource for the municipality. Once Kids’ Tracks has been completed, a planner can visit the class and talk about what the municipality has learnt about the use of the neighborhood, and what they intend to do next.

Outcome

Implementing Kids’ Tracks is binding and can act as an important tool for the planning and development process in your municipality. All insights that emerge from the registration will be evaluated and the municipality will then consider how this can be used in specific projects and whether further involvement is necessary.

If the class is particularly concerned with certain issues, the pupils and the teacher can encourage further activity, for instance:

  • Creating an exhibition based on the pupils ideas
  • Writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper
  • Initiating a project that can improve the community in cooperation with the municipality

If you have any questions regarding Kids’ Tracks or require any further information, you can visit the project’s website barnetråkk.no or contact the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (www.doga.no).