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Co-designed child-friendly urban neighbourhoods and their potential for improving young refugee children’s wellbeing and social cohesion: Critical perspectives from selected projects in Lebanon
« This dissertation examines whether participatory projects, notably those involving children, in urban areas in Lebanon can help improve refugee children’s wellbeing, including by enhancing social cohesion between diverse residents. Drawing from urban studies, child psychology, and other literature, it outlines Syrian refugee children’s circumstances in Lebanese urban areas, and the risks and protective factors they face as a result of their experiences. Centred around urban space, its theoretical framework links concepts of spatial justice, environmental child psychology/socio-ecological models, and social cohesion. Fundamental to its overarching exploration, it adopts a relational and psychosocial definition of wellbeing, which also recognises children’s unique characteristics and experiences. It considers practical evidence for its exploration in two projects in Lebanon, after briefly looking at children’s reimagining of urban areas outside of formal processes. It concludes that there is strong evidence that, when processes are meaningful and address participants’ priorities, as well as successfully engage local authorities, they have significant potential to contribute to children’s wellbeing and improve prospects for social cohesion. The challenge is in creating genuinely inclusive processes that have multiplying, lasting effects – i.e. that they can serve as the ‘glue’ that binds residents in pursuit of the urban commons – and that trigger ongoing, collective actions by a cross-section of residents, which can convince strategic, powerful stakeholders of their importance. Given the acute crisis Lebanon faces, such processes remain more important than ever, while remaining sensitive to the socio-political and economic realities affecting millions across the country.

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This list was generated on Wed Feb 21 15:24:25 2024 UTC.