Child-friendly cities

“Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for all people.” Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá.

Tianjin Binhai Library

The futuristic library is MVRDV’s second design project to complete in Tianjin, China and its fastest project to date, taking just three years from the first sketch to the opening.

(See page 30)

That’s the premise on which Arup’s report Cities Alive: Designing for Urban Childhoodis based.(P14)Designing cities for children doesn’t mean investing in more playgrounds and parks. Child‑friendly urban planning advocates a coherent and systematic approach to planning and designing cities that improves children’s development, health and access to opportunities.

The report argues that the benefits of a child‑friendly city go beyond children to add value to all people’s lives. The amount of time children spend playing outdoors, their ability to get around independently, and their level of contact with nature are strong indicators of how a city is performing, and not just for children but for all city dwellers. A child‑friendly approach therefore has the potential to unite a range of progressive agendas – including health and wellbeing, sustainability, resilience and safety – and to act as a catalyst for urban innovation.

Editor Vicky Kiernander

Sales director Julian Walter

Area sales manager Warren Lisk

Production Gina Mitchell

Design Sandra Cid

Managing director Toby Filby

With children projected to make up the majority of the world’s urban population by 2030, the quality of life experienced in our cities will in many ways determine our global future, say the report’s authors. It’s a fascinating read and must surely prompt us to consider how child- friendly our cities are here in the UK.

Publishers Stable Publishing Limited SBC House, Restmor Way, Wallington, Surrey SM6 7AH, England. T. 020 8288 1080 F. 020 8288 1099 E.

The publishers do not necessarily agree with views expressed by contributors and cannot accept responsibility for claims made by manufacturers and authors, nor do they accept any responsibility for any errors in the subject matter of this publication.

Vicky Kiernander Editor 3

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