Study Reveals the Insights of Children in the Planning Process

A recent study of preschoolers shows that small children are intuitive urban planners—if anyone ever listens.

January 11, 2021, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Children Playing

Lessadar / Shutterstock

Christina Ergler shares news of new research from New Zealand into the intuitive powers of planning and design found among the lives and opinions of preschoolers and calls for small children to be included among the voices contributing to public planning and design processes.

Ergler explains the methodology of the study, which involved 27 children participating in a variety of activities, including mapping and neighborhood walks. The researchers identified among the children priorities on health services and facilities, public safety, and a concern for non-human lives.

"The children not only created child-friendly cities, but care-full ones that work for all people, animals and plants," writes Ergler. "Their model cities were safe, socially and physically connected, with destinations, services and amenities available which people of all ages and abilities could get to safely."

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