Urban spaces accommodate adults as well as children. Today, when designing urban spaces, childrens thoughts, wishes and needs can be ignored. However, children, especially when they reach school age, start to establish relations with the city at least as much as adults. The relationship they establish with their environment also affects their development. It is thought that children perceive urban space differently from adults. In the study, it is questioned how children perceive the city they live in, which urban elements and building types attract their attention, and it is aimed to reveal their awareness of urban space.
For this purpose, a field study was carried out with 10 children on a determined route in Kadıköy. In the preliminary field trips made to determine the working route, attention was paid to the presence of structures and urban elements consisting of different sizes and functions that could attract the attention of children. The children were asked to examine the urban elements around them and take pictures of the elements that caught their interest as they walked along the route. It was investigated which features of the urban structures and elements determined on the study route were perceived by the children. For this purpose, by examining the nodes on the route, perception criteria such as color, material, scale, perception distance, geometry, relationship with the environment, human density in the area, soil type, singular/adjacent status, public/private use characteristics were determined. The route is divided into 6 nodes and by stopping at these points, questions were asked to the children to understand their perceptions of urban space. The questions asked to the children were formed from 18 concepts selected from Cullens book named Townscape in the context of the determined perception criteria. A total of 16 questions were formed from these 18 concepts, and these questions were asked to the children at the nodes on the route and their perceptions of urban space were examined.
The theoretical framework of the study consists of Gordon Cullen, Kevin Lynch and Norberg Schulz. These three theorists, who have studies on the perception of urban space, have been read together with childrens perceptions of urban space. Cullens
serial vision study was tested on children and the photographs taken by the children were combined to reveal each childs own serial vision. It was examined which formal features of the urban elements on the route had a greater impact on urban space awareness and were evaluated together with the answers they gave to the questions. Inferences were made about the thoughts of the children about the route in Kadıköy. All of the children who came to Kadıköy for the first time became more interested in the urban elements they saw during the trip and took more photographs. The structures with a typology, color and facade that they had not seen before attracted their attention and they did not get bored with the trip. While the children were observing the neighbourhood, they focused on the items that interested them the most. Trees, colorful structures, houses with bay windows and structures with different colors, shapes and sizes than others attracted and perceived their attention more. It has been observed that children who have been on the same streets before are less interested and bored earlier than other children. In the study, it is seen that the children are aware of the changes in the width of the streets, the size and volume differences between the buildings, the front-back situation of the buildings, and the level differences in the streets.
Many factors such as adults value judgments, professional deformation or difficulties in life cause losses in urban perceptions. Even if adults live in the city, they often use the city as a transit point, and this often prevents them from being able to observe the city sufficiently. However, children do not attribute meanings to the urban elements around them as adults do, and they can look more objectively. It is necessary to see the city through the eyes of children and not to forget that the city is not only for adults.
Kentsel mekânlar yetişkinleri olduğu kadar, çocukları da içerisinde barındırmaktadır. Günümüzde kentsel mekânlar tasarlanırken, çocukların düşünceleri, istek ve ihtiyaçları göz ardı edilebilmektedir. Oysaki çocuklar da, özellikle okul çağına gelmeleriyle birlikte, en az yetişkinler kadar kentle ilişki kurmaya başlamaktadır. Çevreleriyle kurduğu ilişki, gelişimlerini de etkilemektedir. Çocukların kentsel mekânı yetişkinlerden farklı algıladıkları düşünülmektedir. Çalışmada çocukların içinde yaşadıkları kenti nasıl algıladıkları, hangi kentsel elemanların ve yapı tiplerinin ilgilerini çektiği sorgulanmakta ve kentsel mekân farkındalıklarını ortaya koymak amaçlanmaktadır. Bu amaçla Kadıköyde belirlenen bir güzergâhta 10 çocukla alan çalışması gerçekleştirilmiştir. Çalışmanın kuramsal çerçevesini Gordon Cullen, Kevin Lynch ve Norberg Schulz oluşturmaktadır. Kentsel mekân algısıyla ilgili çalışmaları olan bu üç kuramcı, çocukların kentsel mekân algılarıyla bir arada okunmuştur. Güzergâh boyunca çocukların ilgilerini çeken kentsel elemanları fotoğraflamaları istenmiş ve belirlenen düğüm noktalarında sorular sorulmuştur. Çocuklara sorulan sorular Gordon Cullenın ortaya atmış oldukları kavramlardan oluşturulmuştur. Cullenın sıralı görüş çalışması, çocuklar üzerinden denenmiş ve çocukların çektikleri fotoğraflar birleştirilerek her çocuğun kendi sıralı görüşü ortaya konulmuştur. Güzergâhta bulunan kentsel elemanların hangi biçimsel özelliklerinin kentsel mekân farkındalıklarına daha fazla etki ettiği incelenmiş ve sorulara verdikleri cevaplarla birlikte değerlendirilmiştir. Çocukların Kadıköyde bulunan güzergâhla ilgili düşünceleriyle ilgili çıkarımlar yapılmıştır.Anahtar Kelimeler: Çocuk, mekân, kentsel mekân, kentsel mekân farkındalığı, mekân algısı.