A greener future: The active role of place in enhancing ecoliteracy in children

Alessandro Rigolon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The challenges of sustainability and more equitable societies can only be won through the involvement of future generations.Natural and designed environments, especially public places like schools and playgrounds, can play a fundamental role in enhancing children's ecological literacy, or ecoliteracy.This paper begins with an analysis of the way children develop ecoliteracy, including the processes of affection development and knowledge building, which are two ways of fostering environmental concern and, possibly, stewardship.In this discussion, the roles of education and, mostly, places are highlighted.Then, as a result of the scholarship reviewed, the paper presents a series of lessons on ecoliteracy that buildings and landscapes can teach and offers 10 design guidelines to teach such lessons, including maximizing children's contact with nature in both outdoor and indoor environments, emphasizing local building materials and plants, displaying child-friendly technologies, including unfinished and modifiable places in ever-changing landscapes and involving children in taking care of them, and emphasizing the harmonic balance between natural and man-made elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-203
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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