“Affective Mapping of Rio de Janeiro” strengthened children’s role as city transforming agents in consonance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (2015).
“Affective Mapping of Rio de Janeiro” (in Portuguese: MAC-RJ) is a research initiative developed by two research groups that have been focused on the relationship between the environment and education (GAE) and the role of the open spaces system in Rio de Janeiro (SEL-RJ). The main goal of this project was to strengthen children ́s role as city transforming agents based on two premises: (1) The World Cities Day (Nov 8th, 2019) – in -consonance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (2015) – (2) the acknowledgement that a child-friendly city is good for everyone. This initiative sought to investigate the relationship between the urban landscape, open/public spaces and school facilities within the City, based on children’s impressions. We also sought to understand how these impressions could be incorporated into urban planning and design policy decisions. Firstly, the project applied a questionnaire composed of two questions asking children – enrolled in primary schools – to describe their pathway between home and school through drawings, texts and images. Attached to the questionnaire, an application guide targeted the school teachers with guidelines that took into consideration a 50 minutes application time frame for children to take part in the activity in a minimum oriented and neutral environment as possible. In order to analyze and systematize the collected data, a cross tabulation was established using 15 analytical categories with 119 subcategories. Since January 2020 the collected data has been analyzed by a multidisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members from UFRJ, international academic institutions, and also the local government staff (EPL/SUBPAR/CVL, SME). Furthermore, we’re planning as the next steps: a feedback for the participating schools in order to publicize the results; to improve and replicate the activity periodically as part of the school curriculum in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro; to support the implementation of similar activities in other places; to encourage the inclusion of these research activities and results in undergraduate and graduate courses as a way to increase the children’s participation in urban planning and design processes.