Sustainable Cities: Prospects For The Child




Global development is bringing about major changes and the world’s population has continued to rise astronomically over the last five decades.  Cities are expected to host about 70% of the world’s population by year 2050.  It may be interesting to picture this population growth as presented by research findings — one in four people live in towns or cities.  Furthermore, with the World’s largest cities growing by over 1 million per week: it is estimated that by the year 2025, cities will need to accommodate 4 billion people.  Many of these will be children.


Can you imagine for a minute, the number being 2 billion children?


One third of the population in developed nations are children, while this population is approximately 60% in developing nations.  You can picture where the world is heading.


Given this scenario, life will be predominantly lived in cities.  How this experience is designed will matter so much for the child’s development.  Global cities will likely be the one stop centre for meeting the needs of populations.  Enjoyment of the life is a goal everyone seeks to achieve.  For the child, this is a crucial stage after she/ he is born into the world…


Creating a sustainable city is key to experiencing maximum enjoyment for the child.  Amidst overcrowded cities with rapidly deteriorating environments and rising urban poverty, opportunity for total child development is threatene d.


The approach adopted to give the child the best experiences at home, school and in the general environment will be very important.  Leadership means creating a city where children can have more active lifestyle that allows for connections with friends and family.  Some of these ways are highlighted by the sustainable cities collectives.  


Promote density and family oriented housing.

This means considering the provision of a whole range of compact forms like town homes, lane way homes, duplexes, low rise apartment and more. The family oriented housing targets specific families with parks and amenities nearby.


Access to schools and child care.

This is key to having schools and child care centers close to where families reside. Access to public transit, walkability – bikeability, cross walks and paved sidewalks are critically important. 


To make these all happen, we must strive to include the voice of the intended beneficiaries.  Children!


Children know what they want and how we can help them reach their goal.  Child participation could be encouraged by consistently seizing opportunities to engage the child.


Let us create a platform for children to participate in deciding the changes they want to see.  Give the child a chance to enjoy life. 


Encourage sustainable cities.



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