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Building Children Out of Our Cities
Last fall, the City of Oakland, Ca. launched a planning process to shape the future of its downtown. SPUR, a regional planning nonprofit, published a report titled, A Downtown for Everyone: Shaping the Future of Downtown Oakland. In it, the authors lay out bold recommendations focused on making Downtown more developer, transit, and business friendly.
As I read the report, one oversight really hit a nerve: there is nary a reference to making downtown more family friendly.
In the report, the words “business,” “companies,” or “office” are used over 200 times. In contrast, “families,” “family,” or “children” appear only 10 times. Even San Francisco across the Bay got 88 mentions, and “parking” got big shoutouts—over 80 of them. A scan of other recent reports reveal similar and dismaying blind spots in our local planning efforts.