Dr Parisa Ziaesaeidi

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Areas of interest: Social sustainability, neighbourhood development, built environment

Thesis title: Preferences of Youth for Social Engagement in Neighbourhood-Parks

The settings of parks can offer children and youth opportunities for more experiences with nature, physical activities, and social interaction, which contribute to their overall well-being. Additionally, extant research findings confirm that the design of parks strongly affects the social well-being of its visitors in all ranges and ages. Much research on youth use of parks has focused upon their favourite settings (e.g., play spaces). However, it remains unknown how other conditions can influence the role of neighbourhood-parks for social interactions between youth-youth and youth-adult. Further, it is hypothesised that park settings favoured by youth must afford a range of youth activities that are important to them, while also affording other activities not supported by other parks. Unfortunately, a concentrated focus on youth preferences for more physical activity in parks does not necessarily lead youth to socially interact with other people, to participate in recreational activities in parks. Therefore, more research is needed to expand our understanding of youth social activities, and to collect data about the conditions and locations for greater social engagement within neighbourhood-parks among youth and adults.

To control the existing imbalance between adults’ and youth’s needs and social well-being within neighbourhood-parks, this study will explore the landscape preferences from the Australian youth point of view. The aim is to better understand barriers and benefits of youth social activities and other ways that they use neighbourhood and community parks in the Moreton Bay Region through case studies. The methods include two different youth-friendly approaches; a Participatory-Approach/Art Based-Approach (Youth Workshops) and Structured-Activity approach (Photo Elicitation). Ultimately, data from the ARC Linkage project (LP160101341), which focuses on adults’ preferences, will be compared with collected data from youth (this proposed study) to develop a framework and design recommendations that address the preferred qualities of parks.

Principal Supervisor: Aspro Debra Cushing
Associate Supervisor: Prof Laurie Buys & Dr Tracy Washington

Estimated Completion Date: October 2022

About Parisa Ziaesaedi

Parisa graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture. During her Master’s journey, she investigated the role of the neighbourhoods as a context for designing schools, to provide a sense of satisfaction and belonging to the younger and older generations of neighbourhood residents, and to determine their influence on the overall well-being of the individuals.
Parisa has currently completed her PhD at the Queensland University of Technology, where her PhD research focused on social sustainability, examining landscape design attributes that improve the quality of social life and well-being for youth. Also, during her PhD journey, she found out what kind of social activities are preferred by them and with whom.
Her experience in industry and academia helps her integrate research with practice. She is interested in how architecture and urban planning impact social outcomes. She is also passionate about the relationship between social interaction and social sustainability with a social affordance-based approach. Her publications relate to these themes.

Her recent engagement:
– Country reporter/editor at World Architecture Community (WAC)
– Advisory Board Member- City Space Architecture
– Reviewer of the submitted abstracts/papers in the EDRA Conferences
– Reviewer of the Journal of Public Space
– Temporary Reviewer of Journal of Children, Youth and Environments (CYE), the University of Cincinnati