Conceptualization of Co-Creation, Co-Design and Co-Production with Children for Health-Promoting Physical Environments

A Systematic Search and Scoping Review


  • Tiffany Williams
  • Kim Ward
  • Melody Smith


participatory approaches, participatory action research, neighborhood design, urban design, child rights


This scoping review identified 36 peer-reviewed studies that used a co-creation, codesign or co-production process with children (0-17 years) to understand and/or influence the physical (built or natural) environment. We examined conceptualizations of child participation and of “co” processes. Our findings highlight the opportunity for developing and improving use of child participation models; how children and childhood are viewed by adults involved in the process matters; a need for more discriminate use of the terms co-creation, co-design and co-production with clear definitions; and confirmed the flexibility of “co” processes. Based on these findings, we developed a reporting checklist for physical environment-focused studies using “co” processes with children.