[May 2019: postscript added – see the end of this post.]
Rotterdam is one the few big cities that has taken seriously the goal of becoming more child-friendly. Its ambitious planning policies have been debated in the National Assembly for Wales. Its public space improvement projects have been lauded at international conferences (indeed in 2008 it hosted Child in the City, a leading global cross-disciplinary event).
What is more, unlike some other Child-Friendly City initiatives, it focuses on hard outcomes that make a real difference in children’s lives – better parks, improved walking and cycling networks, wider pavements – and not just on participation processes that, however well-intentioned, may end up being idle wheels.
After my last blog post about German children having more everyday freedom than their English peers, Andrea – a German-born woman who now lives in the USA – got in touch to leave a comment. She had some revealing things to say about the differences between her home and adopted countries, and has agreed to let me share them more prominently. She paints a depressing picture of car-dependence and isolation: a stark comparison with her experiences in Germany. Here is her story.
Woodbury, MN. Source: Strongtowns.org
Posted in Mobility, Parenting, Public policy, Urbanism
Tagged car dependence, child-friendly cities, children's independent mobility, freedom, Germany, Jane Jacobs, neighbourhood, parenting, planning policy, streets, transport, urban design, USA
A brief post, to flag up a wonderful opportunity to get under the skin of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written in 1961 by Jane Jacobs.
City Builder Book Club » Mary Rowe on the Introduction: Why you will read and reread this book.