Sprawl No Fun For Kids!

I loved this article by Laura Stone in yesterday's Vancouver Sun. A new study by Ottawa's Vanier Institue has uncovered one of the hidden costs of sprawl: it's no fun to BMX in! From the article:

Kids these days: they rarely walk anywhere. They don't ride bikes, they don't play outside -- not like they used to, anyway. But can we blame them?

Lots of it has to do with urban sprawl. ...

"We have built cities that actively discourage walking and biking among children, certainly when we compare the experiences of today's children and those of their parents," writes Juan Torres, an urban planner and professor at the University of Montreal, in his study titled Children & Cities: Planning to Grow Together. Aside from being environmentally problematic, urban sprawl has also taken its toll on the bodies and minds of children, Torres said.

"The biggest problem presented in the report is the fact that cities are being planned especially for cars and for adults," he said. "This is an important issue because alternative mobility is part of the things that children need in order to develop properly. Not only in terms of obesity and this problem of public health -- that, of course, is deeply related with physical activity and the fact that children don't walk as much as before -- but oftentimes of personal development."

Children gain a sense of independence and can better understand the concept of common space when they can navigate themselves outside, he said.

read the full article here or the report here.


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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

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