URBS 4/581—Selected Topics:  Growing Up in Cities


Growing Up in Cities Project

      The Growing Up in Cities project comes out of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (first promulgated in 1989).  The Convention stresses that children should be involved in planning as it affects them in their cities.  Besides the two texts for this course, several articles have been published which also use this participatory process for planning (Smith & Barker, 2000; Loukaitou-Sideris, 2003).  The key to this movement is the stress on planning with children, rather than planning for children.  These projects have demonstrated amply that children, even as young as 5 years of age, have information and opinions about how they should be living their lives.  They have also demonstrated that adults can engage children in a process which makes use of this information.  So far, there have been no studies assessing the relative effectiveness of this process (ie, do designs created with children work better than designs created just using expert adult input?), in part due to the lack of consensus about what criteria would be used for such an assessment (if adults choose the criteria, won’t that predetermine the answer?).


Chawla, L.  2002.  “Cities for Human Development” & “Toward Better Cities for Children and Youth,” in Growing Up in an Urbanising World.  London:  UNESCO/Earthscan.




© 2004 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 2 May 2005