Participatory research with children in informal settlements : understanding child perspective through the use of drawing exercises in Los Platanitos, Dominican Republic
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Inadequate solid waste management is a principal cause of risk and vulnerability in informal settlements in Latin America. Failure of municipalities to provide proper waste disposal and maintenance of public spaces can lead to flooding, cause public health problems, increase crime, and produce a sense of abandonment. Accumulation of garbage is particularly hazardous for children, since they engage more intimately with their environment through play and other activities. Planners can draw on participatory activities to document children’s perspectives and activities, and in so doing, better integrate children and youth into the planning process. This paper presents the results of drawing exercises conducted with children in Los Platanitos, Dominican Republic, and discusses the implications of these methods for more participatory planning approaches in informal settlements.