GDCI Projects February 21, 2023

How to create and use a Streets for Kids Reverse Periscope

Streets feel a lot different when you’re only 95cm tall. Like any kind of infrastructure, kids experience streets differently than adults and have unique needs when it comes to safety and access.

In 2018 we created a Streets for Kids Reverse Periscope, a simple cardboard-and-mirrors device that lets adults experience a street from a child’s height. It’s designed to help adults better understand the sightlines, hazards, and uncertainties as well as the unique and surprising aspects of navigating a world built for people twice as tall as you.

We first debuted the periscopes at a “walkshop” in Los Angeles, and since then partners in Lima and Bogotá have held workshops to help improve the periscope’s design and instructions.

Today we are excited to announce a brand new resource for anyone interested in creating Streets for Kids. Download “How Do Kids Experience Streets?” our new guide to creating your own Streets for Kids Reverse Periscope:

A white report cover with a photo of a woman with her head in a cardboard device looking at a street. The words How Do Kids Experience Streets? The Reverse Periscope Companion Guide are below, along with logos of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, FIA Foundation, and Fondation Botnar.

This new guidebook includes step-by-step instructions for assembling your own reverse periscope, as well as suggestions for how to use it and even how to lead your own workshop with members of your community.

We want to make it easy for everyone to use this new tool. On Wednesday, March 8, 2023 from 12:30-1:30pm EST we’ll hold a free online discussion about the Streets for Kids Reverse Periscope and how to use it. Register to join us on March 8:

The Streets for Kids Reverse Periscope is an easy and engaging way to help more people in your community understand how children experience streets and how design changes can make streets safer for people of all ages. Download the new guidebook and register for the webinar all about this new tool.

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