On a blistery, cold but sunny morning in Brooklyn, Future Planners organized a Walk & Talk Tour™ for a group of children (and their parents). These energized kids took to the streets to voice their thoughts on the cityscape that surrounds them daily. From two to seven years old, they shared their thoughts on what they like and dislike along Atlantic Avenue, a street that three centuries ago started as a dirt road which lead to the Patchen Farm located, along the East River. Fast toward to today and Atlantic Ave is one of the most important arteries of the Brooklyn borough.
For some this was a new experience, others were veterans of previous Future Planners events and enrichment classes for kids. What they all had in common was enthusiasm and a forthright conviction on their ideas about how they experience their community. Suggestions ranged from updating bus shelter benches to become user-friendly for the homeless, to using bike racks as jungle gyms. Their suggestions fluctuated from fun and frivolous, to politically sensitive.
Having children lead adults, sharing their passion for what they see, feel and experience instills an awareness that as young city-zens their voices matter. Small yet powerful events such as these are an important step in creating a sense of civic participation, making our cities more sustainable for all generations.
Photography Credit: Fabio Cuzzi
Discussing Bus Shelters
Analyzing City Maps
Sampling Urban Furniture
Testing Citi Bikes
5 Tips to Help Your Child “See” Their City
Increase your child’s awareness of the city that surrounds them with these 5 tips from www.futureplanners.city
As you go through the city with your son or daughter, try these helpful suggestions which aim to open their minds to thinking about community and their important role in the city fabric:
(1) Encourage your children to see the city as theirs, an entity in which they
should give a critical eye, as to what works and what does not and consider
how things can be improved?
(2) Think about what they “see” and how they “feel” as they move through a neighborhood, from the widths of the sidewalks (infrastructure)
to the speed of the flow of car traffic (transportation methods), how is it
(3) Introduce concepts of high and low residential density, a high-rise
and a brownstone are different, why?
(4) Reveal that city elements like “urban furniture” from bus stop
benches to bike racks are designed but see if they can discover and
point out un-designed urban furniture that they see in their
(5) Demonstrate that thinking about their neighborhood and city can
be fun and cool because they become experts on determining what makes
great shared public spaces.
Photo Credit: Benedetto Davi
UNICEF – CIUDADES AMIGAS de la INFANCIA
“A más de 5.000 kilómetros de distancia, en el corazón de Brooklyn, Aminah Ricks trabaja cada día en esa misma dirección. A través de su organización, Future Planners, esta arquitecta y planificadora urbana ayuda a los niños y niñas a “reimaginar” las ciudades. ”
De Brooklyn a Somiedo: así trabajan los niños para reimaginar las ciudades
CHILD IN THE CITY
“Any city that balances considerations for all its city-zens, including children, is a better, healthier and safer place.”
Helping Children Reimagine The City