Raising children in the city could be considered somewhat novel in a country where the conventional wisdom dictates a move to the suburbs as a family grows. But one family in Washington, DC is glad they stayed in the city, which they believe offers benefits that suburbs often can’t replicate. The challenge is to ensure that more families can reap the same benefits from living and growing in a city.
Children & Schools
Getting around is a perpetual logistical problem for families. The experience of getting to school, both as a student and now as a parent, has demonstrated to me just how inequitable our transportation system is and what a barrier it is to opportunity.
In the conversations about cities, much of the media attention has been focused on young professional or older, retiring Americans. But families with children have been largely overlooked in the midst of our current urban renaissance. There has been some recent debated over whether the number of children (and thus families) is increasing or on the decline in cities, and it got us thinking: what would a place designed for families look like?
Huge, sprawling “mega-schools” built at the edges of town aren’t required by law in Minnesota. But minimum acreage recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Education have forced local communities into a one-size-fits-all approach, resulting in new schools that are unwalkable and unconnected to the rest of their communities. On July 1st, this is going to change in Minnesota.
Pediatricians should help work against conventional suburban development (top) and for traditional neighborhoods (lower). Why? For starters, so kids can walk to school again. AAP’s Policy Statement includes this drawing by Duany, Plater-Zyberk. A version of the drawing is available at http://www.dpz.com/research.aspx, Diagram #25. Yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics adopted a ground-breaking policy statement … Continued
The students who live 100 yards from the school are probably still driving to this mega-campus. Around 30 to 40 years ago, the percentage of kids that walked to school was around 60-70 percent. Go into a room of older adults and ask them to raise their hands if they walked to elementary or middle … Continued