Childhood Studies Children and Sustainable Cities
by
Sophie Hadfield-Hill
  • LAST MODIFIED: 31 July 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791231-0218

Introduction

The role, position, and participation of children in the context of sustainable cities have become increasingly recognized at the global, city, and community scales. Numerous interlinking factors have been critical in shaping this agenda. First, there is the mounting awareness that cities were not meeting the needs of the growing population, particularly in terms of providing healthy, safe, and inclusive environments for children to grow up in. Second, the recognition of the child in the United Nations rights framework (the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989) was a driving force in the consideration of children’s rights and their participation in the design and planning of their local neighborhoods. Third, the UNICEF and UN-Habitat Child-Friendly Cities Initiative was born in 1996. This ongoing program of work supports local governments in realizing child-friendly initiatives at the local level to make cities and neighborhoods good places for children and young people to grow up. Concurrently, the UNESCO Growing Up in Cities project was revived (from its original program in the 1970s); this advocated for inviting children and young people into the planning and design process, enabling cities to develop according to the needs of all. In the early 21st century, much of the academic and policy discussion about childhood and sustainable cities is framed in the context of the child-friendly cities, the shaping of city life which suits the needs of children and young people through active, participatory planning processes. The study of children and sustainable cities is dominated by discussions around what makes a city and a place child-friendly; thus this review includes this literature in Planning for Sustainable, Child-Friendly Cities. From a policy and governance perspective, literature which addresses the global agendas of sustainable cities in relation to children is also included (Global Agendas, Policy, and Governance). Much of the rhetoric of sustainable cities is in the context of participation, how people in diverse contexts can have a role to play in city development; this is addressed in the section on Participation in the Development of Sustainable Cities. A fourth aspect is children and young people’s everyday experiences of living in sustainable urban environments, new developments which have been designed to foster environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The section on Living in a Sustainable Urban Environment (Mobility/Housing/Play) addresses some of the key literature in this field. The final aspect relates to Childhood, Urban Natures, and Sustainable Cities; a key aspect of sustainable cities relates to the role of green infrastructures in making places and cities liveable. How children and young people interact with, perceive, and experience diverse natures in the city is a growing area of research. The topic of children and sustainable cities draws on research and theory across the social sciences (and indeed the engineering sciences), the majority of which advocates for children’s rights as active citizens in their communities. Over the decades, the rhetoric of sustainable cities and children’s place within them has come a long way, and this review is a starting point for understanding the theoretical, empirical, and policy developments in this field. However, there is still much work to do, academically and in practice, to ensure that children are growing up in safe, healthy, and inclusive cities and have an active role in shaping sustainable development in their streets, neighborhoods, and communities.

General Overviews

The following texts offer a general overview of the literatures in the field of childhood and sustainable cities. These texts are key pieces in charting the development of child-friendly cities, stimulated in part by the mounting challenges which faced cities across the world, to changes in policy direction, recognizing children’s rights in the development of their streets, neighborhoods, and cities. Karen Malone, one of the key coordinators of the UNESCO Growing Up in Cities program, has written widely on child-friendly, sustainable cities. Her guest editorial, Malone 2001, is a good starting point for learning about the impetus for, development of, and requirements for child-friendly, sustainable urban places. Bartlett, et al. 1999 is another of the often-cited books in the field; specifically aimed at local planners, it serves as a “how-to” guide in the realm of implementing child-friendly policies and procedures. The final two general overviews are provided by Louise Chawla; the first, an edited collection, draws on the international Growing Up in Cities research (Chawla 2002), and the second, an online interview with her, reflects on the successes, challenges, and legacies of the research she conducted in her capacity as a project coordinator and author on children’s experiences of cities (Derr 2016).

  • Bartlett, S., R. Hart, D. Satterthwaite, X. De La Barra, and A. Missair. Cities for Children: Children’s Rights, Poverty and Urban Management. London: Earthscan, 1999.

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    A text specifically written for local authorities to assist in the inclusion of children and young people in the planning and design of cities. The authors offer a series of practical actions for implementing child-friendly policies and procedures. The book, which includes sections on housing, community health, schooling, and child care, uses a multifaceted approach to address sustainable cities from a childhood perspective.

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    • Chawla, L., ed. Growing Up in an Urbanising World. London: Earthscan, 2002.

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      This edited collection provides an overview of the widely cited Growing Up in Cities project conducted in eight countries during the late 1990s (an extension to the work done in the 1970s by Kevin Lynch). The book reviews the research conducted in Argentina, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, the United States, and Poland. The aim of the project was to understand children’s relationship with their urban surroundings and offer recommendations for the participation of young people in community development.

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      • Derr, V. Louise Chawla’s Thoughts on Children’s Participation—Then and Now. In Child in the City. 2016.

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        This is an informative piece written as an interview with Louise Chawla, the coordinator of the UNESCO Growing Up in Cities program (1996–2006). The text addresses the motivations for the large-scale, international, collaborative project, including its key outcomes, challenges, and replicability. Chawla reflects on the forty years since the seminal work from Kevin Lynch, by which this and future projects were inspired.

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        • Malone, K. “Children, Youth and Sustainable Cities.” Local Environment: The International Journal of and Justice and Sustainability 6.1 (2001): 5–12.

          DOI: 10.1080/13549830120024215Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          As the Asia-Pacific Director of the UNESCO Growing Up in Cities project, Karen Malone has written widely on children and sustainable cities. In this guest editorial, Karen argues for city development that is sustainable to overcome the mounting challenges associated with pollution, population, and poverty. This piece succinctly summarizes the intersections between childhood, rights, and sustainable development.

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          • Malone, K. “Child Friendly Cities: A Model of Planning for Sustainable Development.” In Designing Cities with Children and Young People: Beyond Playgrounds and Parks. Edited by K. Bishop and L. Corkery, 11–23. London: Routledge, 2017.

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            This recent chapter written by Karen Malone addresses the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a framework of targets aimed at a global commitment toward a sustainable future. The chapter provides a neat review of the child-friendly cities initiative and the Growing Up in Cities project in the context of the new challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of the global development goals.

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            Books and Edited Collections

            The following books and edited collections are useful starting points for developing an understanding of children’s place in the planning, construction, and everyday life of a sustainable city. Gleeson and Sipe 2006 offers chapters which address a range of local and global infrastructures and decisions which shape young people’s access to the city and their experiences of it. Drawing on case studies from Western cities, this text is of interest to students and professionals alike. A more recent addition to this literature is the edited collection Bishop and Corkey 2017, with chapters from well-known childhood scholars, drawing on examples from Nordic countries, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Germany. The book addresses sustainable city development from the global to the local scale and offers research perspectives and guidance for those working in this field as well as practitioner focus for implementation of child-friendly processes. The third suggested book, Christensen, et al. 2017, provides a detailed account of children’s experiences of living in new sustainable urban developments in the United Kingdom, as well as international examples, to offer theoretical, empirical, and practical innovations in both researching and building sustainable urban developments. As a collective, these books offer students and policymakers alike suggestions for researching, designing, and implementing sustainable innovations in cities from the perspective of children and young people.

            • Battro, A. M., P. Léna, M. S. Sorondo, and J. von Braun, eds. Children and Sustainable Development: Ecological Education in a Globalized World. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2017.

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              In understanding the place of children and young people in sustainable cities, another important area of research is education. This edited collection is home to thirty-two chapters which focus on the changes needed from an educational perspective in addressing the challenges associated with environmental threats and mounting inequalities—important considerations in the development of sustainable cities. With contributions from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, this text offers case studies from diverse contexts.

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              • Bishop, K., and L. Corkey. Designing Cities with Children and Young People: Beyond Playgrounds and Skate Parks. Oxford: Routledge, 2017.

                DOI: 10.4324/9781315710044Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This edited collection draws on diverse contexts and scales in addressing the design of cities for and with children. The authors show what matters when designing, planning, and involving young people in the shaping of their own environments. This text is a reminder that there is still much work to do in championing for, negotiating, and including young people’s views and experiences in planning for sustainable urbanism.

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                • Christensen, P., S. Hadfield-Hill, J. Horton, and P. Kraftl. Children Living in Sustainable Built Environments: New Urbanisms, New Citizens. Oxford: Routledge, 2017.

                  DOI: 10.4324/9781315750019Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  A key contribution to the literature on childhood and sustainable cities. This book makes a novel contribution to understanding how children’s lives intersect with sustainable features of the built environment, through their planning, construction, and lived experiences. The authors draw on interdisciplinary approaches to studying childhood and sustainable urbanism, with an explicit focus on young people’s mobility, their interactions with sustainable technologies, and integration with community processes.

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                  • Gleeson, B., and N. Sipe, eds. Creating Child Friendly Cities: Reinstating Kids in the City. London: Routledge, 2006.

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                    This edited collection focuses on Western cities, their physical infrastructures, global and local policies, playscapes, and social fabric in the remit of creating safe and healthy places for children and young people. A good background text for students and professionals who are interested in studying city spaces from the perspective of the child. In the context of intensifying challenges in Western cities, the contributions address action-oriented solutions for planning and designing sustainable child-friendly cities.

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                    Journals

                    Mentioned here are four journals which offer a good starting point for researching children and sustainable cities. Children’s Geographies journal offers a range of articles which address sustainable cities from a geographical perspective, taking into account the spatial, social, and scalar implications of cities for young lives. Sustainable Cities and Society has been recommended as it gives a good indication of the scope of research on sustainable cities and the multiple points of intersections with young lives. The other two journals, Children and Society and Children, Youth and Environment, both offer a wealth of research on children and sustainable cities which is multidisciplinary and from diverse contexts. It is worth noting that research in this area is multidisciplinary, so literature is often found in diverse journals covering a range of topics from geography to engineering, urban design, and sociology.

                    • Children and Society. 1987–.

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                      This journal is a resource for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers who are searching for innovative, high-quality research to inform research and practice in the fields of children’s culture, health, well-being, society, education, and participation (to name a few examples). Children and Society is a source for diverse issues associated with children and sustainable cities.

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                      • Children’s Geographies. 2003–.

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                        This is an exciting interdisciplinary journal that publishes a wide range of scholarship on the geographies of children, young people, and families. The journal is a key outlet for work on young people’s engagement with and perceptions of cities, urban development, and sustainability. This should be a key port of call for researchers and policymakers working on childhood and sustainable cities for innovative, theoretically driven, and high-quality empirical research.

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                        • Children, Youth and Environment. 2003–.

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                          This multidisciplinary journal publishes research which aims to more fully understand the physical environments in which children spend their time, whether that be in classrooms, in gardens, in hospitals, on the street, cities, or their homes. The journal has published widely on approaches to child-friendly and sustainable cities from diverse contexts and communities.

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                          • Sustainable Cities and Society. 2011–.

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                            The remit of this journal is sustainable cities. Topics include air quality, diverse energy sources and efficiency, community-led development, urban design, transport, water management, engineering for sustainable cities, and big data. It is more likely that children and young people feature indirectly in research cited in this journal; however, it is nonetheless important as it gives a good indication of the ideas, technologies, and policies which intersect with young lives in sustainable cities.

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                            Global Agendas, Policy, and Governance

                            It is important to understand the international priorities and goals associated with childhood and sustainable cities. In 2015, the United Nations, following on from the Millennium Development Goals, launched the Sustainable Development Goals, a global framework to end poverty, safeguard the planet, and ensure positive well-being for all. Goal 11 specifically addresses Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 11—Sustainable Cities and Communities, addressing the importance of cities to be inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable for all, including children. Malone 2006 provides a good overview of the development of UN goals and declarations associated with childhood and sustainable cities. Malone 2015 reviews the recent development framework for addressing global challenges. Evans and Honeyford 2012 is a useful prompt for thinking about the role and position of young people in sustainable development policy.

                            • Evans, B., and E.-J. Honeyford. “‘Brighter Futures, Greener Lives’: Children and Young People in UK Sustainable Development Policy.” In Critical Geographies of Childhood and Youth. Edited by P. Kraftl, J. Horton, and F. Tucker, 61–78. London: Policy Press, 2012.

                              DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428462.003.0004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              An interesting chapter on young people’s position within sustainable development policy. While focused on UK policy, there are some interesting claims and debates about the role of young people within sustainable development discourse and policy.

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                              • Malone, K. “United Nations: A Key Player in a Global Movement for Child Friendly Cities.” In Creating Child Friendly Cities: Reinstating Kids in the City. Edited by B. Gleeson and N. Sipe, 13–32. London: Routledge, 2006.

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                                The chapter charts the development of United Nations goals and global declarations, addressing the interlinked priorities of sustainable urban development and children’s safe and healthy living conditions. As a response to the growing challenges which children face in urban environments, the chapter reviews a series of programs and interventions which have aimed to assert a framework for reinstating the child in the city, including UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Cities and the UNESCO Growing Up in Cities project.

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                                • Malone, K. “Children’s Rights and the Crisis of Rapid Urbanization: Exploring the United Nations Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Potential Role for UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative.” The International Journal of Children’s Rights 23 (2015): 1–20.

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                                  This paper was written as the UN Millennium Development Goals were brought to a close and as the international community set the agenda for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Malone uses this paper to reassert the rights of children in the context of the new framework, arguing that children and childhood should be at the heart of the commitment.

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                                  • United Nations. Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 11—Sustainable Cities and Communities. 2017.

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                                    This resource is the latest international framework for sustainable development, the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Set in 2015 (as an agenda until 2030), sustainable cities are a key component of the goals, and Goal 11 aims at “making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

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                                    Participation in the Development of Sustainable Cities

                                    The participation of children and young people in the development of sustainable cities is a key focus of the literature in this field. This is commonly articulated in the literature as i) the participation of young people in child-friendly city planning and ii) the position of children and young people as agents of change in broader sustainable development debates, including sustainable cities. The following texts are examples of such literature. Hart 1997 provides the underpinnings of much of the subsequent literatures in the field of young people’s participation in the planning of sustainable and child-friendly cities. Other manuals for young people’s participation have also been widely cited; for example, Driskell 2002, and more recently Derr, et al. 2018, offer practical guidance for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners embarking on participatory projects with young people. Malone 2016 draws on the Dapto Dreaming project, a participatory, action-based project which involved developers and children in the planning of a neighborhood. This provides a good insight into some of the methodologies associated with involving children in the development of sustainable cities. The subsequent texts present an overview and critical discussion of the capacity and challenges associated with young people as “agents of change” in the broader sustainable development discourse.

                                    • Chawla, L., N. Blanchet-Cohen, N. Cosco, et al. “Don’t Just Listen—Do Something! Lessons Learned about Governance from the Growing Up in Cities Project.” Children Youth and Environments 15.2 (2005): 53–88.

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                                      This piece is written by practitioners working on the Growing Up in Cities project. Here they reflect on lessons learned from the participatory process and the involvement of government officials and decision-makers in the planning and implementation process. Mistakes, strategies, and successes are explored to provide a starting point for researchers and practitioners embarking on participatory action research projects with young people.

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                                      • Cushing, D. F. “Youth Master Plans as Potential Roadmaps to Creating Child- and Youth-Friendly Cities.” Planning Practice and Research 31.2 (2015): 154–173.

                                        DOI: 10.1080/02697459.2015.1110472Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        The focus of this paper is youth master plans in the United States, developed as part of the wider drive to involve young people in the development of sustainable, child-friendly cities. The author reviews the process of participation and the involvement of planners in the youth master plans and offers a series of recommendations moving forward.

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                                        • Derr, V., L. Chawla, and M. Mintzer. Placemaking with Children and Youth: Participatory Practices for Planning Sustainable Communities. New York: New Village Press, 2018.

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                                          This is a recent and thorough account of how to implement participatory placemaking with children and young people. There is a wealth of detail and practical methods for supporting engagement, considering ethics of participation and a range of methodologies (including art-based, traditional qualitative methods, child-led tours, and community workshops). There are examples and case studies from diverse contexts including Canada, South Africa, India, and the Netherlands.

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                                          • Driskell, D. Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth: A Manual for Participation. Routledge: London, 2002.

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                                            Another widely cited text in the field of children and young people’s participation in sustainable cities. Published as a result of the Growing Up in Cities project, the book presents the case for including children and young people’s views and experiences in the social, economic, and environmental planning of neighborhoods, towns, and cities. This manual for young people’s participation provides step-by-step guidance for participatory projects and evidence for how outcomes of participatory projects can be delivered on the ground.

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                                            • Hadfield-Hill, S., and C. Zara. “Being Participatory through the Use of App-Based Research Tools.” In Being Participatory: Researching with Children and Young People: Co-constructing Knowledge Using Creative Technologies. Edited by I. Coyne and B. Carter, 147–169. Switzerland: Springer, 2018.

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                                              This chapter showcases the innovative mapping tool “Map My Community,” a mobile app which can be used to research young people’s everyday lives (including mobilities, routines, relationships with people and space) and as a tool in participatory planning processes. This chapter gives a detailed insight into the processes of co-designing research apps with young people and the advantages and challenges of using such participatory, methodological tools.

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                                              • Hart, R. Children’s Participation: The Theory and Practice of Involving Young Citizens in Community Development and Environmental Care. London: Earthscan, 1997.

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                                                Although published in 1997, Hart’s work on children’s participation in sustainability agendas is still widely cited in the academic and policy domain. This book was intended as an introduction to children’s participation in sustainable development and as a tool for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in involving young people in participating in sustainable development projects. The Ladder of Children’s Participation has widely influenced the field of children’s participation in sustainable city development.

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                                                • Malone, K. “Children’s Place Encounters: Place-Based Participatory Research to Design a Child-Friendly Sustainable Urban Development.” In Geographies of Global Issues: Change and Threat. Edited by N. Ansell, N. Klocker, and T. Skelton, 1–30. Singapore: Springer, 2016.

                                                  DOI: 10.1007/978-981-4585-54-5_35Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Here Karen Malone draws on the Dapto Dreaming project, an innovative participatory research project which sought to support children in being environmental change agents in the planning of a new development in their neighborhood. The chapter reviews the processes and methodologies involved in young people’s participation.

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                                                  • Percy-Smith, B., and D. Burns. “Exploring the Role of Children and Young People as Agents of Change in Sustainable Community Development.” Local Environment 18 (2013): 323–339.

                                                    DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2012.729565Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    This paper considers the role of schools in providing education for sustainable development within the classroom. Critically, the authors consider the Sustainable Schools Strategy and question its impact on sustainable community development. The authors draw on an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project to analyze the potential of young people to be agents of change in the context of sustainable community initiatives.

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                                                    • von Braun J. “Children as Agents of Change for Sustainable Development.” In Children and Sustainable Development. Edited by A. Battro, P. Léna, M. Sánchez Sorondo, and J. von Braun, 17–30. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2017.

                                                      DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-47130-3_2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This piece offers a perspective on the potential of transformative education in the realm of planning for sustainable development in cities, towns, and communities. The author reviews the potential of young people to be agents of change in this capacity and the role of action-projects and information communication technologies to support their participation.

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                                                      • Walker, C. “Tomorrow’s Leaders and Today’s Agents of Change? Children, Sustainability Education and Environmental Governance.” Children and Society 31.1 (2017): 72–83.

                                                        DOI: 10.1111/chso.12192Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Here the author offers a review of research on global agreements on sustainability education, environmental governance, and the position of children as actors in the popular discourse of “agents of change.” Walker brings in theoretical insights on children’s agency to argue for a more nuanced understanding of both relational and intergenerational perspectives.

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                                                        Planning for Sustainable, Child-Friendly Cities

                                                        Much of the literature on children and sustainable cities manifests itself in the discussion, analysis, and critique of the child-friendly city discourse. The guiding framework for Child-Friendly Cities is provided by the CFC Secretariat, established by UNICEF, who provides guidance and promotes child-friendly initiatives in the development of sustainable cities worldwide. The central premise of the child-friendly city is that it has a structure of local governance in place which aligns to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In practice, this means that children’s rights are woven into local policies, programs, and budgets on an everyday basis. Thus, children have to be given the option to participate in city-based decision-making; to participate in family and community life; to have access to basic services including education, health care, clean water, and sanitation; and to be safe and have spaces to play (see the Child Friendly Cities Initiative’s website for a comprehensive review of the requirements). The following literatures are intended as an introduction to the literature on child-friendly cities. International Secretariat for Child Friendly Cities 2004, produced by UNICEF, provides a good starting point for understanding the framework for action. Several of the suggested literatures review specific examples from cities around the world (Riggio 2002, Corsi 2002). The other sources provide prompts for thinking about some of the challenges and critiques of the child-friendly cities movement: for example, in thinking about the criteria for assessing child-friendliness (Broberg, et al. 2013); the multidisciplinary attention to child-friendly cities needed in the planning, construction, and design of such environments (Kingston and Wridt 2007); the contribution of younger children in participating in child-friendly design (Ergler, et al. 2015); and a consideration of intergenerational relations in the planning of sustainable cities (Biggs and Carr 2015).

                                                        • Biggs, S., and A. Carr. “Age- and Child-Friendly Cities and the Promise of Intergenerational Space.” Journal of Social Work Practice 29.1 (2015): 99–112.

                                                          DOI: 10.1080/02650533.2014.993942Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          This paper draws attention to two ends of the life course and offers an analysis of the similarities and differences in creating environments which are suited to age-defined categories. The authors argue that much is lost in this hyper-separation and thus call for a more focused discussion of planning for intergenerational relations, spaces, and playful moments in the planning and design of urban space.

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                                                          • Broberg, A., M. Kyttä, and N. Fagerholm. “Child-Friendly Urban Structures: Bullerby Revisited.” Journal of Environmental Psychology 35 (2013): 110–120.

                                                            DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.06.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            In this paper, the authors are critical of the criteria used to assess child-friendly urban structures, particularly from an environmental perspective. Using the case of Turku, Finland, the authors focus on the factors which determine independent mobility and opportunities for environmental affordances. The paper offers a methodological contribution to assess child-friendly urban places.

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                                                            • Corsi, M. “The Child Friendly Cities Initiative in Italy.” Environment & Urbanization 14.2 (2002): 169–179.

                                                              DOI: 10.1177/095624780201400214Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Using the case of Italy, Corsi reviews the development of child-friendly initiatives across, national, regional, and local governments. The paper critically addresses child-friendly city initiatives which have emerged to address children’s mobility in cities, their use of space, and their participation in decision making. Importantly, the paper includes the perspectives of children, reflecting on their own experiences of participation and their critical assessment of child-friendly city participatory projects.

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                                                              • Ergler, C., K. Smith, C. Kotsanas, and C. Hutchinson. “What Makes a Good City in Pre-schoolers’ Eyes? Findings from Participatory Planning Projects in Australia and New Zealand.” Journal of Urban Design 20.4 (2015): 461–478.

                                                                DOI: 10.1080/13574809.2015.1045842Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                While not specifically about child-friendly cities, this paper asks what preschool children can add to the discussion of planning for sustainable cities. The authors make the case for preschool children to be involved in participatory projects in planning for sustainable cities.

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                                                                • International Secretariat for Child Friendly Cities. “Building Child Friendly Cities: A Framework for Action.” Florence: Innocenti Research Centre, 2004.

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                                                                  Produced by UNICEF, this document provides a framework for developing a child-friendly city, translating the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child into a city government process to ensure that children’s rights are respected in the building of child-friendly, sustainable city spaces and processes. This document provides a good overview of the child-friendly cities movement and the expectations that local governance structures face in implementing the processes.

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                                                                  • Kingston, B., and P. Wridt. “Creating Child Friendly Cities: The Case of Denver, USA.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Municipal Engineer 160.2 (2007): 97–102.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1680/muen.2007.160.2.97Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Focusing on the city of Denver, Colorado, USA, this paper charts the development of the city to become child-friendly. The paper addresses a variety of community-based initiatives which were initiated including a safe routes to school program. This paper, published in a civil engineering journal, makes an important point about the role of engineers in the design and construction of child-friendly environments.

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                                                                    • Malone, K. “Freeing Children to Contribute: Building Child-Friendly Cities in the Asia Pacific Region.” In Early Childhood Matters. The Hague: Bernard van Leer Foundation, 2010.

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                                                                      This short article addresses child-friendly cities in the context of the Asia-Pacific region. Karen Malone discusses the multiple challenges which face young people in many Asian-Pacific cities, from lack of safe transport infrastructures to a fear of violence and crime.

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                                                                      • Riggio, E. “Child Friendly Cities: Good Governance in the Best Interests of the Child.” Environment and Urbanization 14.2 (2002): 45–58.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/095624780201400204Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        This paper provides a sound overview of the child-friendly cities movement, including the rationale, characteristics, international secretariat, and measures of implementation. The paper draws on a range of examples, from Spain to Lebanon, Ecuador, and India, to show how cities around the world have developed structures for the governance and planning of children’s participation in the domain of child-friendly cities.

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                                                                        Living in a Sustainable Urban Environment (Mobility/Housing/Play)

                                                                        Recent literature on childhood and sustainable cities has focused on children’s experiences of growing up in new sustainable urban environments, or has paid attention to specific aspects of children’s relationship with the city, within the framework of the sustainable city, for example mobility, housing, or play. New urban environments are increasingly being planned as sustainable, environmentally and socially, through the inclusion of eco-technologies and features, to systems of participation and inclusivity. Recent literature has begun to explore what it is like for young people to grow up in such “sustainable” urban environments. Horton, et al. 2015, for example, focuses on young people’s engagements with eco-technologies in the home and the challenges and opportunities of living with such technologies. Similarly, Hadfield-Hill 2013 highlights a series of barriers to pro-environmental behavior when living in such spaces. An important aspect of the design of sustainable urban development is a consideration of young people’s mobility. In this context, Horton, et al. 2013 offers a discussion of young people’s diverse walking practices, raising questions about mobility in sustainable cities. It is also important to consider children’s experiences of sustainable cities in diverse city spaces, for example, how sustainable urban transformation may impact on young lives in the context of smart city development in India (Hadfield-Hill 2016). Other literatures address housing and play as important features of the sustainable city. These suggested resources offer useful starting points for thinking though the intersecting challenges of planning, designing, and striving for sustainable cities in the context of childhood.

                                                                        • Gill, T. Street Play Initiatives in Disadvantaged Areas: Experiences and Emerging Issues. London: Play England, 2016.

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                                                                          This report is written by Tim Gill, an author well known for his work on children’s play in cities. In thinking through childhood and the sustainable city, discussions of outdoor play are a key consideration. This report sheds light on street play in disadvantaged areas in England as a response to widespread concerns about the lack of opportunities for street play in cities across the United Kingdom.

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                                                                          • Hadfield-Hill, S. “Living in a Sustainable Community: New Spaces, New Behaviours?” Local Environment 18 (2013): 354–371.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2012.714760Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            In the context of living in a sustainable community, this paper explores how pro-environmental behaviors are encouraged and performed in these new spaces. The data draws on young people’s experiences of eco-technologies in their homes and schools; however, the paper also highlights a series of barriers to pro-environmental behavior from in-depth research with children and their families.

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                                                                            • Hadfield-Hill, S. “Children and Young People in Changing Urban Environments in the Majority World.” In Space, Place, and Environment. Edited by K. Nairn, P. Kraftl, and T. Skelton, 209–226. Singapore: Springer, 2016.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/978-981-287-044-5_3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              This chapter considers children and young people’s lived experiences of urban change, whether these be urban remaking projects, larger-scale urban transformation, or the position of childhood in the marketing of the sustainable city. Given the pace of urban transformation in cities across the majority world, this chapter argues that the experiences of children in living through and negotiating urban change should be a key consideration in the changing geographies of urban environments.

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                                                                              • Horton, J., P. Christensen, P. Kraftl, and S. Hadfield-Hill. “‘Walking . . . Just Walking’: How Children and Young People’s Everyday Pedestrian Practices Matter.” Social & Cultural Geography 15.1 (2013): 94–115.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2013.864782Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                The focus of this paper is on young people’s everyday walking practices. The authors show how walking in various guises is central to the relations, friendships, and neighborhood experiences of young people growing up in sustainable communities in the Midlands, UK. This paper is important in thinking through the diversity of young people’s walking practices and provides a useful prompt for thinking about how researchers and policymakers might understand “just walking” in the context of sustainable cities.

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                                                                                • Horton, J., S. Hadfield-Hill, and P. Kraftl. “Children Living with ‘Sustainable’ Urban Architectures.” Environment and Planning A 47 (2015): 903–921.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1068/a140401pSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This paper draws attention to children’s engagements with sustainable urban architectures. As homes, neighborhoods, and developments are increasingly being built with eco-technologies integrated into their form and function in the sustainable city, what impact does this have on the children and young people living in them and interacting with them on an everyday basis? The paper highlights a series of important points about architectural conservatism, misconceptions, and urban myths in the planning, construction, and lived experience of sustainable urbanism.

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                                                                                  • Kraftl, P. “Liveability and Urban Architectures: Mol(ecul)ar Power and ‘Becoming Lively’ of Sustainable Communities.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32 (2014): 274–292.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1068/d21012Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Using the everyday lived experiences of sustainable communities in the United Kingdom, the author addresses the “becoming lively” of urban architecture in the context of the sustainable communities agenda through a focus on molecular biopolitical power. This paper is a unique contribution to the literature on childhood and sustainable cities, through its focus on the governance of “life itself” and young people’s co-opting of and sometimes resistance to these measures.

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                                                                                    • Malone, K., and J. Rudner. “Child-Friendly and Sustainable Cities: Exploring Global Studies on Children’s Freedom, Mobility and Risk.” In Risk, Protection, Provision and Policy. Geographies of Children and Young People Series 12. Edited by C. Freeman, P. Tranter, and T. Skelton, 345–370. New York: Springer, 2017.

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                                                                                      The focus of this chapter is on children’s independent mobility in the planning of child-friendly and sustainable cities. The authors use a sociocultural-ecological analysis to review diverse childhood experiences of mobility in terms of freedom, socioeconomic status, age and gender, urban form, environmental concerns, and social, cultural, and historical factors. This complexity is considered in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the drive for sustainable cities.

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                                                                                      • Whitzman, C., and D. Mizrachi. “Creating Child-Friendly High-Rise Environments: Beyond Wastelands and Glasshouses.” Urban Policy and Research 30.3 (2012): 233–249.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/08111146.2012.663729Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        This paper addresses the important issue of housing in the context of the child-friendly sustainable city. Using the case of Melbourne, the authors draw on their research with children aged eight to twelve to assess density of housing and children’s experiences of living in diverse environments, yielding insights into patterns of mobility based on housing type.

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                                                                                        Childhood, Urban Natures, and Sustainable Cities

                                                                                        A further point of consideration in the design and development of sustainable cities is the place of nature in urban environments: how diverse natures are part of urban routines, lifestyles, and well-being. In recent years, there has been a specific interest in children and young people’s interaction with and perception of urban ecologies. There has been widespread media and societal panic over a supposed disconnection of urban childhoods with natures, that contemporary childhoods have shifted indoors and online and are now overwhelmingly disconnected from nature. However, the following texts are important in readjusting this preoccupation with disconnection, to show that children’s lives are connected to diverse natures in all sorts of ways. In thinking through childhood and sustainable cities, we need to think about the multiple ways in which children’s bodies are entangled with urban ecologies and natures, across space and at different scales.

                                                                                        • Freeman, C., and Y. van Heezik. Children, Nature and Cities. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2018.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.4324/9781315673103Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          An in-depth focus on some of the diverse ways in which children experience and interact with nature in their cities. The book is predicated on placing children at the center of planning for sustainable, biodiverse cities. The text provides a good starting point for thinking through childhood-nature relations, including changing city spaces, planning for green spaces, natures and the home, natures and culture, and mediated natures.

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                                                                                          • Hadfield-Hill, S., and C. Zara. “Complicating Childhood-Nature Relations: Negotiated, Spiritual and Destructive Encounters.” Geoforum (2018).

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.09.036Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This paper draws on children and young people’s experiences of urban transformation in India, as part of a broader sustainable city movement. The paper is crucial in complicating childhood-nature relations through attention to socio-spatial negotiations, spiritual influences, and destructive tendencies. This paper offers a new perspective on children’s experience of diverse natures in the context of sustainable city building and urban change.

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                                                                                            • Kraftl, P., J. A. P. Balastieri, A. E. M. Campos, et al. “(Re)thinking (Re)connection: Young People, ‘Natures’ and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in São Paulo State, Brazil.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2018).

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1111/tran.12277Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              The authors of this paper draw on young people’s experiences of the food-water-energy nexus in São Paulo State, Brazil, to rethink (re)connection. Through a bottom-up analysis of everyday, embodied connections with food, water, and energy, the paper extends literature on childhood-nature relations and raises important questions about the place of the nexus in contemporary research on sustainable cities.

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                                                                                              • Murnaghan, A.-M. F., and L. J. Shillington, eds. Children, Nature, Cities. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2016.

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                                                                                                This edited collection draws on research from across the globe in unpacking children and young people’s diverse relations with natures. Chapters examine the normalization of childhood and nature, the politics of environmental change, and the potential and experience of environmental learning. The book aims to present children and young people’s experiences as a counter to adult perceptions of childhood-nature relations, in thinking through the potential of sustainable cities.

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