Children and planning: To what extent does the Scottish town planning system facilitate the UN convention on the rights of the child?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Children are often not given explicit attention in land use planning outside of allocating space for schools, parks and playgrounds. This is problematic as children both use and navigate beyond these settings, and findings from research on and with children report how they are frequently marginalized in society. This is partly affected by the way town planning systems treat children's spatial needs and participation. Therefore, this article investigates whether and how the Scottish town planning system acknowledges children, particularly in light of the internationally recognized rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It uses critical discourse analysis of key Scottish planning policies, along with a survey of Scotland's planning authorities to ascertain the extent to which children are provided for and participate in the system. It argues that children's rights are not widely acknowledged or incorporated into town planning policy and practice, and suggests this must be addressed to achieve greater social justice and support Scotland's commitments as a signatory of the UNCRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-159
Number of pages21
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • children’s rights
  • community engagement
  • critical discourse analysis
  • equality
  • Scottish planning system
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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