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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Children’s perceptions of their neighbourhoods during COVID-19 lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand
Published: January 2022   Journal: Children's Geographies
Neighbourhood design can have substantial impacts on children's physical and psychological well-being. COVID-19 lockdowns produced striking and unprecedented changes in how neighbourhoods functioned for children. The aim of this research was to explore what worked well for children during Alert Levels 3 and 4 (lockdown) in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), focusing in particular on the neighbourhood environment. Children (n = 192) aged between 5 and 13 years completed an online survey that collected information on neighbourhood walking and wheeling and what they liked about their neighbourhood during lockdown in NZ. Car-less neighbourhoods were important for supporting children’s well-being. Community activities such as the NZ Bear Hunt were appreciated by children. Natural environments, being home, spending time with family, and simple activities were all liked by participants. Social connections were important but often required technology. Findings can help inform initiatives to support child well-being in the face of potential future lockdowns or new pandemics.
Effects of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on parents' attitudes towards green space and time spent outside by children in Cambridgeshire and North London, United Kingdom

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Howlett; Edgar C. Turner

Published: December 2021   Journal: People and Nature

In the United Kingdom, children are spending less time outdoors and are more disconnected from nature than previous generations. However, interaction with nature at a young age can benefit wellbeing and long-term support for conservation. Green space accessibility in the United Kingdom varies between rural and urban areas and is lower for children than for adults. It is possible that COVID-19 lockdown restrictions may have influenced these differences. In this study, we assessed parents' attitudes towards green space, as well as whether the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions had affected their attitudes or the amount of time spent outside by their children, via an online survey for parents of primary school-aged children in Cambridgeshire and North London, UK (n = 171). We assessed whether responses were affected by local environment (rural, suburban or urban), school type (state-funded or fee-paying) or garden access (with or without private garden access).

Changes in psychosocial functioning among urban, school-age children during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Andrea E. Spencer; Rachel Oblath; Rohan Dayal (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

There is concern about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychosocial functioning among school-age children, who have faced unusual stressors during this time. This study's goal is to assess mental health symptoms and social risks during COVID-19, compared to before the pandemic, for urban, racial and ethnic minority school-age children, and investigate the relationship between mental health and social risks. It is a cohort study from September 2019 until January 2021 of children age 5–11 years old recruited from an urban safety net hospital-based pediatric primary care practice.

COVID-19: a chance to reallocate street space to the benefit of children's health?

AUTHOR(S)
Hannah Wright; Mitchell Reardon

Published: May 2021   Journal: Cities & Health
COVID-19 has radically altered the way people gather, interact and even walk down the street. It has also dramatically altered the use of the public realm. In cities around the world, travel restrictions and social distancing measures practically emptied streets of traffic and increased street space used by essential workers, pedestrians and cyclists. Using examples from Europe and North America, this article discusses street allocation for traffic versus children in western contexts and whether the change opens up innovation in the way the public realm is allocated and in so doing, creates an opportunity to support children’s health and wellbeing.
Covid-19 pandemic and public spaces: improving quality and flexibility for healthier places

AUTHOR(S)
Marichela Sepe

Published: February 2021   Journal: Urban Design International
The current Covid-19 pandemic has interested the whole word, changing habits and use of places and cities. In the lockdown period, cities and public spaces became completely empty and new urban landscapes substituted the previous ones, transforming the private in public. Children, young and elder people were those who mainly had problems: to them, real life was negated at the time of their life in which this is more important. In Italy, the second country after China which was interested by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the reopening of all the public spaces happened after 2 months of closure. This allowed again “in presence” social interactions, although in respect of the physical distance, confirming the importance of these places for all people. Starting from these premises, the aim of this paper is to present the results of a study carried in the framework of the Horizon 2020 research project Urban Maestro, New Governance Strategies for Urban Design, of the ISMed-National Research Council post Covid research, and of the INU Community Public Space,the last two initiatives coordinated by the author. The objective is to identify the relationships between theory and practice of the Charter of Public Space after 10 years of its creation, and verify its validity, in particular, in this Covid-19 emergency period.
Physical distancing, children and urban health

AUTHOR(S)
Apostolos Kyriazis; Gregor Mews; Elisabeth Belpaire (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: Cities & Health
In a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, cities worldwide became the epicentre of the unfolding health drama. Questions related to the contemporary human condition, rate of urbanization and alternative socioeconomic frameworks that started to emerge over the course of the past decade, now seem to be more relevant than ever. Urban typologies such as public spaces are under pressure, as the measure of “social distancing” rapidly became a novel narrative. Within this narrative, children – while seemingly less affected medically – may actually be influenced more than expected, both physically and mentally, since their social and spatial developmental needs are different to those of adults. The Urban Health Community of Practice of ISOCARP offers a series of questions and critical reflections accompanied by a wide geographical, cultural and disciplinary array of examples from around the world regarding the spatial, social and physical effects of the current crisis on children and how this could provide valuable feedback on updating future urban planning policies. This is a first step towards a commonly expressed paradigm shift that embraces human and planetary health resilience, a new equilibrium for cities and natural systems and a new, more inclusive social model.
The emerging lessons on urban vulnerability and safety from Covid-19 in low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Jaideep Gupte

Institution: Institute of Development Studies, UN Habitat
Published: July 2020
This discussion paper sets forth the lessons on urban vulnerability and safety, relevant to the security sector, emerging from coronavirus (Covid-19) and its related socioeconomic impacts on urban societies in low- and middle-income countries.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.