Growing up in cities

Lynch, K. , 1977, Growing up in cities, in: Lynch, K., ‘Growing up in cities’, Mitt Press, Cambridge

  • Author : Lynch, K.
  • Year : 1977
  • Published in Book : Growing up in cities
  • Pages : 1-80
  • Abstract in English : The intention of these study was “to help document the human cost and benefits of economic development, by showing how the child’s use and perception of the resulting micro-environment affects his life” The research was meant to suggest public policies for improving the spatial environment. In the process, the authors hoped that they might learn some things about environmental indicators, long-term changes in child environment, the misperceptions of planners and educators, and the latent public support for improvement. There are similarities in the way thirteen- and fourteen-years-old use the "unprogrammed” spaces near their dwellings: the local streets, the courtyards, and the apartment’s staircases. Streets are immediately at hand, and its is legitimate to be in them. Interesting thins happen in the streets, and yet street behaviour is nor rigidly prescribed. The shape of local streets, stairs, and courtyards is important to these children: the paving, the trees, the safety, the suitability for informal play, the corners, doorways, and benches where they can meet their friends, the opportunities those places give them to slip away from the parental eye while still being thought safe and under general supervision. The important barriers to movement are not distance, but personal fear, dangerous traffic, a lack of spatial knowledge, the cost of public transport, or, in case of girls, parental controls. The children are attracted to, and also somewhat fearful of, the waste grounds within their reach. A striking difference between the locales is the way in which the children image their community. In light of their importance for social interaction and informal play, the form and regulation of local streets and small open spaces is one critical issue…The hunger for trees is outspoken seemingly universal. Landscaping should be as essential a part of the basic infrastructure of a settlement as electricity, water, sewers, and paving. Children can join in landscaping their neighbourhood. Planners, designers, and environmental managers will have to become more concerned with children’s needs. Observations and research should be part of the design process. The child client, if accessible, should be asked to evaluate the existing environment and to participate in the design construction of settings specifically intended of children.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: children, adolescents, cities, streets, children’s needs, community identity, trees.