City-building activities don’t often include the voices of the kids, which means we’re all missing out. Not only do they provide refreshingly imaginative ideas, but building cities that are kid-friendly is good for everyone.
As Enrique Penalosa, the mayor of Bogota, Columbia, says, “Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will still have a successful city for people.”
For today’s episode, you’ll hear from a group of kids in grade 1 and 2. John recently presented to a local school about urban planning and asked the kids to design their own cities. The results were pretty awesome, so we thought you needed to hear what they had to say. Some ideas included building more walkable neighbourhoods, providing diverse housing options for people, creating accessible schools, and… embedding trampolines into sidewalks. Did we mention that they were all under the age of 9?
According to experts on childhood brain development from the University of Minnesota, children spend up to two thirds of their time in imaginative play. This time spent pretending helps kids come up with alternative ways of thinking, which results in increased creativity and better problem solving.
So maybe, we should ask kids for their ideas more often to tap into their creativity for how to build better cities.