Childhood obesity is an epidemic in Kuwait. Computer games and television has made it easy for kids to live a sedentary lifestyle. For some, the only exercise is the few hours of PE class in school every week. Neighborhoods have a social duty to provide children with a safe environment to play with other kids and have fun.
6. An elementary school is close enough so that most children can walk from their home.
Summer break means that kids are spared the worst months of summer, so a walk to school is mostly pleasant. Of course, the entire length should be shaded, and every morning there should be someone at each road crossing to stop traffic and allow the kids to safely cross the street. To do this, sidewalks have to be wide enough to allow people to walk. The problem with most neighborhoods in Kuwait is that the sidewalk is too narrow and each house has far too many cars; the cars park on the sidewalk filling the entire space. This forces people to walk on the street. If it was up to me this would be illegal. The public owns the sidewalk and nobody should force me to walk on the street.
7. There are small playgrounds accessible to every dwelling — not more than 150 meters away.
We have a unique opportunity to create a hybrid community center by merging a playground with a mosque. Both have to be within walking distance of every dwelling, so why not combine the two? The playground becomes part of the mosque infrastructure. During prayer time, adults using the mosque will create a feeling of safety through community policing. It can become a new hybrid community center; a mosque, playground, learning center and local library all in one seamless small urban space.