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

Reconnaissance—“It takes a village to raise a child”

a.       My interests

                                                               i.      How do children grow up?

                                                             ii.      What do we want our children to become?  Can we influence that?

b.      Quick overview of the “history of the child”

                                                               i.      Naturalist observation

1.      Wild Boy of Averyon

2.      Darwin’s Diaries

                                                             ii.      Early theories of childhood

1.      GS Hall & children’s play (especially with dolls)

2.      A Binet & children’s intelligence

3.      M Montessori & children’s schooling

                                                            iii.      Children in the environment

1.      Anthropological studies of childrearing

a.       M Mead, Sex and Temperament

b.      Whiting & Child, Child Training and Personality

c.       Sears, Maccoby & Levin, Patterns of Childrearing

2.      Sociological studies of children’s development

a.       L Hoffman, Working Mothers

b.      R Coles, Children of Crisis (5 vols.)

                                                           iv.      Children in the City

1.      T Alexander, Human Development in an Urban Age

2.      NIH (NICH&D), “Children in the Man-Made Environment (1971 & 1973)

3.      Children’s play environments

a.       R Dattner, Design for Play (1969)

b.      M Allen, Planning for Play (1968)

c.       A Bengtsson, Adventure Playgrounds (1972)

4.      Childhood City Newsletter (EDRA

5.      A-M Pollowy, The Urban Nest (1977)

6.      K Lynch, Growing Up in Cities (1977)

7.      International Year of the Child (1979)

8.      UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990)

c.       Reflection

                                                               i.      With a few exceptions, blinkered focus on nuclear family and school settings.  But children also experience

1.      foster care/”broken” families/group homes—children in crisis

2.      day care & “substitute” care

3.      Scouts, etc.—early service learning & volunteering

4.      Church—more than just worship

5.      Library

6.      Recreation—formal and informal

7.      “Neighborhood” is sometimes defined as the home range of a child.  But (home) range differs by age & physical ability (in some respects, aged & infirm have similar issues) and stage in family life-cycle

                                                             ii.      Key definitions

1.      “City”—not necessarily “metropolitan”

2.      “Community”—can be neighborhood, town, community of association, etc.

                                                            iii.      A research agenda (1981)

1.      Use of city (more information about the way children really use the city)

2.      Significance of uses (to the child)

3.      Level of intervention

4.      Policy influence (responsive to policy makers’ needs)

                                                           iv.      Possible issues

1.      What are the differences between children’s perceptions & uses of their environments and that of adults?

2.      What is the difference, in behavior and in personality, between children who are raised in high-rises and children who are raised in ground-floor dwellings?  (consider the impact both of density and of physical barriers to movement)

3.      What has been the impact of the automobile on the child’s experience of the city environment?

4.      What is the impact of residential turnover rate on a child’s development?

5.      What are the public health issues related to growing up in cities? (epidemic, nutrition, environmental stressors, etc.)

6.      Who are the role models for children in cities?  What do city children learn from these role models?



Associated Press, “Photos show neighborhood dangers,” The Free Press, 3/26/04, p. A10.

Filipovitch, A.J.  “The child in the city:  A research agenda,” Journal of Urban Affairs, 1981, 3(4), 29-36.

Goodenough, E.N., “Peering into childhood’s secret spaces,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/4/2003.

Mead, M.  (1957)  “Towards more vivid utopias,” Science, 126 (3280), 957-961.

Monaghan, P.  “A child’s place in the world,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/7/2000  p. A21-22.





© 2004 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 2 May 2005