Children and their parents take part in the "Urban Forest" initiative run by local non-profit organisation Tata Inti in the Sants district of Barcelona, Spain, May 12, 2018. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Sophie Davies
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It comes at a time when city authorities are pushing forward with a $23.9 million initiative, started in 2015, to make Barcelona a more child-friendly city.Under the plan, 89 new play spaces will be built and 150 existing ones renovated by the end of next year, to make them more accessible and inclusive for children of different ages, as well as those with disabilities.Independent mobility, when a child can move around a city without being accompanied by an adult, depends on road crossings, perceptions of safety, and the proximity and availability of things to do, global engineering firm Arup said in a report earlier this year on design for urban childhoods.In Britain, the "Playing Out" movement to close streets to traffic for a couple of hours on a set day so that children can play there freely has gathered steam in the past few years, expanding from the city of Bristol across the country.Enabling children from different social classes and ethnic backgrounds to spend regular time together also reduces community tensions, he said.
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