Design a City to Embrace Children, Please

This Capitol Hill (DC) treehouse has sparked debate among neighbors, with some saying it shouldn't have been constructed 20 inches over their property line into the alley. (Larry Janezich/Capitol Hill Corner)

Have you ever noticed how many people who don't have a dog can't tolerate dogs, while the "dog people" are oblivious to the wagging, licking and barking? It seems to be the same with children. 

Too many people don't want to be bothered with the laughter, the running and jumping of children. Creating and allowing environments (including schools) that nurture a child's creativity seem to be efforts or allowances too inconvenient to make.

I totally understand the need for places that aren't child-centric. I completely relate to wanting and needing quiet places, but for the most part adults go too far. 

Much is made about the 7 3/4 hours the typical American child spends in front of some kind of electronic each and every day. We wring our hands and seem to blame the child. But, my friends, look around you. For the most part, outside of the occasional playground, we do not plan and design our cities for children. There is nothing for them to do out there so why should they go out? The Washington Post article , The War on a Treehouse - and Childhood It..., is an example of our distorted mindset. 

Think about YOUR childhood. Where did you play? Did you roam your neighborhood? Did you fill the air with laughter and the occasional naughtiness? Give our kids a break. Welcome them into our world, please.

Read: The War on a Treehouse — and Childhood Itself from The Washington Post

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Tags: DC, Post, Washington, child, children, city, design, for, friendly, play, More…treehouse


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Ethan's grandmother gave him a gift of $25. He gave $20 to ATOP so more Atlanta kids will have great places to play. He kept $5 to get something cool for himself. We think Ethan is pretty cool!

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