TIM GILL, INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR, WRITER AND CONSULTANT ON CHILDHOOD, AND A GLOBAL ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN’S PLAY AND MOBILITY
Today on the podcast, Tim Gill is an independent scholar, writer and consultant on childhood, and a global advocate for children’s play and mobility. His work cuts across public policy, education, child care, planning, transport, urban design and playwork. It engages with academics, practitioners, policy makers, the media and the wider public. Tim is a Design Council Ambassador, and a former director of the Children’s Play Council (now Play England). Tim is a longstanding advocate for child-friendly urban planning and design. His book Urban Playground: How child-friendly planning and design can save cities was published by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2021.
In 2017 he was awarded a Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. This allowed him to study how the cities of Calgary, Ghent, Antwerp, Freiburg, Oslo, Rotterdam and Vancouver have taken children into account in their planning. Other cities including Recife, Tel Aviv and Tirana have also been included in Tim’s research, thanks to financial support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation through its Urban95 initiative. Tim is co-author of the first London-wide planning guidance on children’s play and recreation (published in 2008 under former Mayor Ken Livingstone); the revised edition is helping to shape neighbourhoods for London’s children. As well as playgrounds, his interest in the built environment embraces streets, neighbourhood planning, transport and public space, and children’s evolving relationship with nature. He explored this last topic in a 2011 report for former Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s Sustainable Development Commission entitled Sowing the Seeds: Reconnecting London’s children with nature.