Urban Baby Boom Requires Baby-Friendly Planning

Jillian Glover writes of her new perspective on what makes a city welcoming and safe for young families—the newest perspective, in fact. She's a new mother.

"Much has been written about how to create a family-friendly city (i.e have lots of parks,family programs, build larger condos etc.). But, I don’t yet have a kid, I have a baby whose needs are somewhat different than those of an older child. As a result, I am learning that cities aren’t as baby-friendly as they could be," writes Glover.

Glover describes her recommendations as especially pertinent following the recent U.S. Census data finding a baby boom in urban areas. "It’s time that cities paid more attention to the needs of young families," says Glover.

Among Glover's recommendations:

  • Walkable Neighborhoods: "Being on maternity leave, I walk every day with my baby, either with a sling/carrier or stroller. It is often the one thing that puts him to sleep and allows me to run errands, get some fresh air and relax. Parents and babies benefit more from this type of experience than hauling all their equipment into a car and going to a big box store."
  • Crosswalks: "As much as I love hurling my stroller into traffic and hoping someone stops, a safe crosswalk is preferable."
  • Parks: "Every new parent and baby should be within safe walking distance to nature. My husband and I often take our baby to Trout Lake, a local park with a small lake that we can walk around."
  • Family Advisory Committees: "...most cities have public committees. Vancouver has loads of them - on everything from LGBTQ issues to food policy. Yet the city does not have a family advisory committee that focuses on issues for young families."
Full Story: The Baby-Friendly City

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