RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Young children’s play in urban areas


sruthi 1Sruthi Atmakur-Javdekar’s background in architecture and landscape architecture enables her to focus on improving the quality of built environments, particularly for children and young people. Through her work, Sruthi aims to influence local and national policies related to children’s rights, urban planning and design. Sruthi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental Psychology program where her dissertation research focuses on evaluating play opportunities available for young children from middle-class families living in urban high-rise buildings in fast-growing cities of urban India.

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While working on her dissertation research in Pune city, India, Sruthi continues to engage in research and scholarship with colleagues at The Graduate Center in the capacity of a research associate with the Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG) at the Center for Human Environments.

Sruthi is currently co-directing and directing projects related to the CERG-Plan’s Score Cards project and Child Friendly Places approach in communities across the world. Having worked closely with Dr. Pamela Wridt and sruthi 3Dr. Roger Hart in the development of the Child Friendly Places (CFP) approach, Sruthi currently coordinates work related to the same. Research related to the CFP approach implemented in Mumbai and Bhavnagar cities of India in 2013 – 2014 was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal. You can access the article ‘Spatializing Children’s Rights: A Comparison of Two Case Studies from Urban India’

Furthermore, Sruthi and her CERG colleague, Bijan Kimiagar currently co-direct the Score Cardssruthi 4 methodology with Plan International, which is an adaptation of the Child Friendly Places approach. During December 2015, in association with Plan International, Sruthi and her CERG colleagues, Bijan Kimiagar and Aysenur Ataman travelled to Benin, West Africa to conduct training workshops for adolescent girls and boys, and adults including Plan staff from Benin, Togo, Rwanda and Burkina Faso in the Score Cards approach.

Also, more recently, in March 2016, Sruthi conducted an evaluation study in New Delhi, India, to help assess the feasibility of using digital technologies to implement the Score Cards approach, which is an adaptation of CERG’s Child Friendly Places methodology. The outcomes from this study are underway including findings to develop a final proposal to digitize the Score Cards approach, in addition to recommendations for digitalizing the Child Friendly Places approach.

If you are interested in learning more about Sruthi’s work or any of the CERG projects mentioned above, please feel free to reach out at You can also access Sruthi’s CV here. Further, follow Sruthi on Twitter and Linkedin.


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