Kids Co-designing Healthy Places is a Monash University project supported by VicHealth.
The project supports councils and schools to engage with kids to co-design healthier places. It focuses on the things in our neighbourhoods that impact healthy eating, being active and feeling safe.
Kids live, learn and play in the places councils look after. By including them in the design process we can build healthier futures together.
How to use this website－ ＋
Kids Co-designing Healthy Places can be initiated by either a local council or by teachers in local schools or early childhood education centres. You will invite kids to audit their local neighbourhoods and then, together, join in a workshop to create actionable co-designed solutions.
Councils can include these solutions as part of their Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans or other plans and strategies to improve community health.
The project can be tailored to different communities. Its resources are best suited to kids aged 8–14 but can be adapted to suit children from a range of ages.
To use the website, click the relevant link below depending on whether you are a council staff member or a teacher.
You’ll be taken to an overview of what co-design is and some of the benefits from using it when designing services or environments.
For council staff, we explain the potential benefits for your plans and strategies, with a particular focus on the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan (MPHWP).
For teachers, we explain the project’s connections to policy and your curriculum, and how this project can enhance kids’ learning.
In the overview, we’ll explain how co-design can be used in this particular project, and we showcase our three-phase sequence of activities for kids to:
- learn about healthy places
- audit their neighbourhood
- workshop their ideas and design solutions for creating healthier places.
Toolkit builder and audits
After you’ve read the overview, head to the toolkit builder. This gives you options for how the kids can audit their local area by collecting data. Choose to use:
- a survey
- a digital story audit
- a quick audit
- a combination of audits.
The right choice for you depends on your available time and resources – and perhaps those of your partner organisation, the council or teachers you’re working with.
Though the project can be run by either council or teachers alone, it will work best if you’re able to reach out and collaborate – there are mutual benefits for doing this. We recommend that schools, early childhood centres and councils connect as early as possible in the process, and plan the approach and select the right tools together.
Once you’ve decided on your audit tools and created the weblinks – and the kids have begun their research – you’re ready to begin planning the co-design workshop. This is the most important part of the project as it translates the kids’ research into potential solutions that council staff can consider when creating their plans. On the workshop page we break it down with step-by-step instructions.
There’s also a page full of links to useful co-design resources, toolkits and videos. You can find the resources here.