Category Archives: Mobility

walking, cycling, public transport, car

Is a taste of freedom the key to a good childhood?

Yesterday’s launch of the Good Childhood report from the Children’s Society has prompted more soul-searching about childhood. Coverage has focused on the report’s finding that half a million of the country’s children aged 8 to 16 – nearly 10 per cent – had a low sense of well-being. This is indeed a troubling finding – even if some of those children will become happier over time. Yet this media focus, while understandable, misses out a far more important message: the crucial value of a taste of freedom and autonomy. Continue reading

A brief history of the popsicle test

Children and adults in a popsicle storeHow do you measure the child-friendliness of a neighbourhood? Here’s one test. Would you, as a parent of an 8-year-old child living in that neighbourhood, let your child make their own way to a shop and buy a popsicle (or any variety of ice-cream) – and could your child get the frozen treat back home before it melted?

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Can you help with my Oz trip?

kangarooI’m en route to Australia, where I’ll be giving talks to childcare agencies and children’s rights bodies, working with public health officials, and networking with child-friendly city projects. And I’m looking to you, my readers, for  your ideas about how to make the trip more worthwhile. Continue reading

Want to hear about road closures for play?

A nice audio news piece on road closures for play, as broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 programme PM on Weds 3 August 2011. Featuring the wonderful people at Bristol’s Playing Out campaign, some local Bristolians, and yours truly.

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World through a windscreen?

Today is Playday, the annual play celebration. I am going to take a step back from the festivals, the Council fun days and the PR campaigning, important though they are. Instead, I want to explore one of the reasons why so many children are losing out on the opportunity to play outside in the first place: the car.

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