Can a town designed by and for creatives, gen xers/yers and knowledge workers be any good for kids? Actually, very much so. Not only is this audience ready to have kids on their own, they were kids themselves not too long ago, and the following guidelines for children can apply to them as well.
Given a fair start, kids above all need to be able to freely explore their environment and learn how to spontaneously relate to other people of all ages in order to develop happily and healthily, according to child psychologist and author of The Forgotten Child: Cities for the Well-Being of Children, Henry Lennard, who has studied children and their surroundings all over the word. His current work is focused on making cities more livable through pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development and compelling public places and amenities.
A 2002 European Commission report, Kids on the Move states,
“all too often, our towns and cities seem to have been designed without any regard for children and young people. Public spaces and modes of transport – devised by healthy adults for, at best, other healthy adults – neglect the needs of children just as they neglect the needs of other ‘minorities’. This poses a threat to children’s independence and has a serious effect on their development and well-being.”
It seems like this is catching on. Walk through city streets and you’ll see more and more kids each time, even if it’s just for the day.