Master´s Thesis 2021 Rurban Transformation

Matilda Palmberg Ingelstam

What places do you remember from your childhood and what do they mean to you, today?

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

in Relation to Planning

In January 2020, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was implemented in Swedish legislation. Sweden ratified the Convention already in 1990, however the legislation gives the Convention a stronger legal position, the same status as other Swedish laws. Generally, Sweden has a tradition of following the convention and adjust regulations and guidelines along it, yet many consider it not to be enough.
One fifth of Sweden’s population is not included in decision making and influence in urban development today: the children. And in architecture and spatial planning children are often not seen as adequate inhabitants being able to contribute in, for example, planning processes. There are many reasons to this, as unawareness of suitable methods, that research on the subject is not raised and included in the discourse or economic aspects. Still, everyone seems to agree on the importance of children growing up in healthy and safe places.


The aim of this master’s thesis is to, based on five articles from the UNCRC, examine and discuss how to work with and strengthen child perspective in planning. Intended recipients of the material are architects, planners, urban developers, politicians, decision makers and others included in the development of our environments.

Above aim is concretized into two main research questions:

What methods and processes are there in Sweden today, when working with a child perspective in planning?

How could the work and discourse regarding a child perspective in planning be developed further, referring to the UNCRC being implemented in Swedish law in 2020?


The UNCRC consists of 54 articles, in this thesis five of them were chosen to be examined more in-depth, and in relation to architecture and planning. Article 1 aims to highlight that the UNCRC applies to all people under the age of 18, being a basic guidance for understanding the context in this thesis. Then, Article 2, 3, 6 and 12 as the general principles and Article 31 which content relates to the planning context, were analyzed further.

The approach in this project is not to capture every aspect but to gather interesting and important parts relating to the UNCRC in relation to planning, that hopefully will inspire architects, planners, politicians, and others involved in planning and decision making in their work with creating sustainable environments for all people, young and old.



Contact: matildapalmberg(at)