Effects of Open Space Characteristics on the Spatial Distribution of Street Children: Experience from Ibadan, Nigeria
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Journal of Asian and African Studies. April 2022. doi:10.1177/00219096221090634
Against the background of seemingly uncontrollable social menace and environmental nuisance of street children, this study examined the effects of open space characteristics on the spatial distribution of street children in Ibadan, Nigeria. With open space types in the city as spatial units of data collection, enumeration of street children was carried out in each space type within 7 weekdays in the morning, afternoon and evening. Observation was also conducted to know the socio-economic and physical characteristics of the urban environment attracting the children. The study, which employed z-scores to compare the intensity of street children incidence across the spatial units, confirmed that the incidence was a function of the uses to which open space types were put as well as the disorderliness of urban physical environment (indiscriminate parking, formal and informal economic activities, and so on). The most important open space types that attracted street children were markets, mosque premises and junctions. Although, incidence of street children was a daily affair in Ibadan, it was highly pronounced in the evening on Saturday, Friday and Monday. The study recommended development of policy measures for regulating the use of open spaces, and giving adequate planning attention to roundabouts, religious centres (mosques in particular) and markets in urban centres. It also recommended public education and enlightenment programme on the negative effects of street children incidence by all stakeholders, and that the aspect of culture of the people that encourages child begging and alms giving should be discouraged in its entirety.
Keywords: Open spaces, street children, spatial distribution, environment, characteristics
- Journal Article