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Children & Cities: Planning to Grow Together

This article concerns the role of children in our communities. A review of research shows that children play a limited role in the decision making processes that shapes their environment. What is more, as they have become increasingly dependent on parental cars for activities and travel, children are loosing touch with their immediate neighbourhoods, a trend reflected in the declining number of children who walk or bike to school. However, Canada adheres to several international commitments enshrining the obligation to take the needs and perspectives of children into account in urban planning. The article draws on a number of research studies, including participatory projects and studies of children’s mobility, to highlight the importance of neighbourhood schools in terms of community life, child development and family well-being.