While children have the least influence on their physical environment they are deeply affected by it. Play areas for children have been increasingly limited in third-world cities. In many developing countries population growth has encroached on play areas as low-density housing and open space are transformed into high-rise apartment complexes; the availability of urban open space for children is being constricted. While adults design the urban to meet their requirements, they tend to give too little thought to the needs of children. This essay reports on a visual study of urban open spaces for children in Tabriz, a city in northwestern Iran. Children between 6 and 12 years of age were asked to paint pictures of their ideal play spaces. The children's imaginary spaces are contrasted with photographs of actual playgrounds and open spaces in Tabriz. The goal is to understand why children's active use of existing urban playgrounds and open space is on the decline.