Posts tagged "Children"
GOOD: 
"Need Another Reason to Care About School Design?
Liz Dwyer. Jan 3, 2013
Last fall during a stop in Los Angeles promoting his latest book Fire in the Ashes, education activist Jonathan Kozol spent some time discussing the impact of school design and environment on children. Wealthy children, he noted, tend to go to attractively designed schools with plenty of natural light, while low-income kids tend to be shuttled into ugly, windowless, stench-filled buildings that “coarsen their mentalities and tell them how little value they have in our society.” Now a year-long study by the UK’s University of Salford Manchester and architecture firm Nightengale Associates reveals that a well-designed school doesn’t just impact student’s mental state. It affects academic achievement, too.”
Photo: Robert F. Kennedy Schools, via Wikimedia Commons

GOOD: 

"Need Another Reason to Care About School Design?

Liz Dwyer. Jan 3, 2013

Last fall during a stop in Los Angeles promoting his latest book Fire in the Ashes, education activist Jonathan Kozol spent some time discussing the impact of school design and environment on children. Wealthy children, he noted, tend to go to attractively designed schools with plenty of natural light, while low-income kids tend to be shuttled into ugly, windowless, stench-filled buildings that “coarsen their mentalities and tell them how little value they have in our society.” Now a year-long study by the UK’s University of Salford Manchester and architecture firm Nightengale Associates reveals that a well-designed school doesn’t just impact student’s mental state. It affects academic achievement, too.”

Photo: Robert F. Kennedy Schools, via Wikimedia Commons

"Multigenerational Communities or Bust
Sarah Goodyear. August 30, 2012
I’m raising a New Yorker. A city kid through and through. It’s not by accident that this is happening: I grew up in the city myself (Manhattan), and so it has always seemed to me like an obvious place to raise my own child. He was born, 10-plus years ago, in a downtown Manhattan hospital, and came home to the house in Brooklyn where he has lived ever since.
I expected my son to be loyal to his city, the way that I have always been, but sometimes he surprises even me with his hometown pride. Like the time he returned from a trip to a leafy Massachusetts suburb, re-entering his native burg at perhaps its lowest point – the grim streets around Penn Station. On a hot and humid night, he strode past the piles of garbage and the fluorescent fast-food outlets, breathed in the fetid air, and declared, “It’s good to be home. I love New York.”
That’s a little bit extreme, I admit. But the benefits he’s getting from growing up here are undeniable. He is constantly meeting and interacting with all kinds of people from all over the world, and loves to guess which languages he is overhearing on the street or subway. When he walks down the street, the shopkeepers know his name. He plays with kids on the block and in pickup games at our local park. He regularly visits some of the world’s best museums, although he probably takes in almost as much art on the streets around him. He has seen first-hand the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich, and that has given him plenty to think about.
Maybe most important, he has learned how to navigate this world on foot, transit, and bike. He has a detailed mental map of our surroundings, something that is much harder for children to acquire if they get chauffeured everywhere. By the time he’s a teenager, the whole city will be his oyster, thanks to the bus and subway.
So to me, at least, it makes all the sense in the world to raise a kid in the city. In the end, of course, it’s a profoundly personal choice, and it’s obviously not the right decision for every family. One thing is clear, though: The city benefits as much from having children as children do from having the city.
A city that is filled with children is a happier, more lively place than one that isn’t. More than that, it’s a place that is clearly headed toward the future, not stagnating in the past. A city that can keep its children engaged and stimulated is building a resource that will pay off big-time in years to come.”
Via: The Atlantic Cities
Photo: Shutterstock

"Multigenerational Communities or Bust

Sarah Goodyear. August 30, 2012

I’m raising a New Yorker. A city kid through and through. It’s not by accident that this is happening: I grew up in the city myself (Manhattan), and so it has always seemed to me like an obvious place to raise my own child. He was born, 10-plus years ago, in a downtown Manhattan hospital, and came home to the house in Brooklyn where he has lived ever since.

I expected my son to be loyal to his city, the way that I have always been, but sometimes he surprises even me with his hometown pride. Like the time he returned from a trip to a leafy Massachusetts suburb, re-entering his native burg at perhaps its lowest point – the grim streets around Penn Station. On a hot and humid night, he strode past the piles of garbage and the fluorescent fast-food outlets, breathed in the fetid air, and declared, “It’s good to be home. I love New York.”

That’s a little bit extreme, I admit. But the benefits he’s getting from growing up here are undeniable. He is constantly meeting and interacting with all kinds of people from all over the world, and loves to guess which languages he is overhearing on the street or subway. When he walks down the street, the shopkeepers know his name. He plays with kids on the block and in pickup games at our local park. He regularly visits some of the world’s best museums, although he probably takes in almost as much art on the streets around him. He has seen first-hand the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich, and that has given him plenty to think about.

Maybe most important, he has learned how to navigate this world on foot, transit, and bike. He has a detailed mental map of our surroundings, something that is much harder for children to acquire if they get chauffeured everywhere. By the time he’s a teenager, the whole city will be his oyster, thanks to the bus and subway.

So to me, at least, it makes all the sense in the world to raise a kid in the city. In the end, of course, it’s a profoundly personal choice, and it’s obviously not the right decision for every family. One thing is clear, though: The city benefits as much from having children as children do from having the city.

A city that is filled with children is a happier, more lively place than one that isn’t. More than that, it’s a place that is clearly headed toward the future, not stagnating in the past. A city that can keep its children engaged and stimulated is building a resource that will pay off big-time in years to come.”

Via: The Atlantic Cities

Photo: Shutterstock

"D.C.’s growth is fueled by 20-somethings. Can the city grow up with them?
By Jonathan O’Connell, Published: May 25
During the past decade, Washington has become a magnet for ambitious 20-somethings. Not only does the city offer good jobs and better-than-average public transit, it also boasts food trucks and, of course, cupcake shops.
For a recent college graduate, what’s not to like?
It’s been a remarkable deal for the District, too. The influx of newcomers has transformed the city from a symbol of civic dysfunction and drab government offices to a cosmopolitan hub — an urban playground.
The flood of newcomers did not arrive by accident. City planners and developers have bet big on luring transplants to the region. These are the people who will fill the more than 11,000 new apartments expected to be completed in the area in the next 12 months and whose income, sales and real estate taxes are helping the city’s finances fare far better than those of similar urban areas. Long-blighted storefronts and commercial corridors are being rebuilt.
What D.C. hasn’t yet figured out, or even really planned for, is what happens when this raft of newcomers grows out of one-bedroom condo living. What happens when their lives evolve past the urban-playground stage and they are less interested in speakeasies than in parks for their kids?
Caroline Armijo and her husband joined the wave of new D.C. residents when they moved to the 6th Street Flats apartment building in Chinatown in 2005. At the time, so few people lived there that they had to fight to stop the dumpsters from the Chinese restaurants next door from being emptied in the middle of the night. “A lot of the initial issues were just, ‘Don’t pick up the trash at 4 a.m.,’ ” she said.
A few years later, Armijo, now with her infant daughter in tow, attended one of the first meetings of a Penn Quarter parents group. There she met a mother who made her realize that raising her child downtown would involve more challenges than just finding the right school.
“She kind of scared me,” Armijo said. “She said, ‘The first thing that’s going to sort of push you away from downtown is not the schools — not that the schools aren’t bad — but it is that you realize you need a safe place to play.’ ”
Now that her daughter is 3, Armijo said, finding places to take her is a daily struggle; she swings on bike racks like monkey bars, climbs on a sculpture outside the restaurant Zaytinya or runs atop the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Armijo and other downtown parents have begun crusading for a neighborhood playground, starting a petition and bringing their requests to the D.C. Council, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and the National Park Service.”
Via: The Washington Post

"D.C.’s growth is fueled by 20-somethings. Can the city grow up with them?

By Published: May 25

During the past decade, Washington has become a magnet for ambitious 20-somethings. Not only does the city offer good jobs and better-than-average public transit, it also boasts food trucks and, of course, cupcake shops.

For a recent college graduate, what’s not to like?

It’s been a remarkable deal for the District, too. The influx of newcomers has transformed the city from a symbol of civic dysfunction and drab government offices to a cosmopolitan hub — an urban playground.

The flood of newcomers did not arrive by accident. City planners and developers have bet big on luring transplants to the region. These are the people who will fill the more than 11,000 new apartments expected to be completed in the area in the next 12 months and whose income, sales and real estate taxes are helping the city’s finances fare far better than those of similar urban areas. Long-blighted storefronts and commercial corridors are being rebuilt.

What D.C. hasn’t yet figured out, or even really planned for, is what happens when this raft of newcomers grows out of one-bedroom condo living. What happens when their lives evolve past the urban-playground stage and they are less interested in speakeasies than in parks for their kids?

Caroline Armijo and her husband joined the wave of new D.C. residents when they moved to the 6th Street Flats apartment building in Chinatown in 2005. At the time, so few people lived there that they had to fight to stop the dumpsters from the Chinese restaurants next door from being emptied in the middle of the night. “A lot of the initial issues were just, ‘Don’t pick up the trash at 4 a.m.,’ ” she said.

A few years later, Armijo, now with her infant daughter in tow, attended one of the first meetings of a Penn Quarter parents group. There she met a mother who made her realize that raising her child downtown would involve more challenges than just finding the right school.

“She kind of scared me,” Armijo said. “She said, ‘The first thing that’s going to sort of push you away from downtown is not the schools — not that the schools aren’t bad — but it is that you realize you need a safe place to play.’ ”

Now that her daughter is 3, Armijo said, finding places to take her is a daily struggle; she swings on bike racks like monkey bars, climbs on a sculpture outside the restaurant Zaytinya or runs atop the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Armijo and other downtown parents have begun crusading for a neighborhood playground, starting a petition and bringing their requests to the D.C. Council, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and the National Park Service.”

Via: The Washington Post


“Road Traffic ‘Single Biggest Source of Fatality’ for Young People Worldwide
Sarah Goodyear. May 3, 2012
When you think of how to achieve public-health progress in the developing world, you might think of engineering clean water sources and sanitation to prevent water-borne diseases. You might think of implementing measures to stop the spread of malaria, like mosquito nets. You might think of distributing vaccines, or designing education programs about HIV/AIDS.
What you probably wouldn’t think of is figuring out how to keep people safe from traffic.
And yet it’s road traffic – itself a marker of progress and prosperity in emerging economies – that in 2004 killed more children around the world between the ages of 5 and 14 than malaria, HIV/AIDS, or diarrhea (that’s the most recent year for which we have full data). According to “Safe and Sustainable Roads: An Agenda for Rio+20,” a new report from the Campaign for Global Road Safety, road traffic is the leading cause of death globally for young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
It’s not just children who are being killed, of course. Some 1.3 million people die every year on roads around the world. That amounts to 3,500 people every day. Millions more – 50 million more annually – are injured. And those numbers are probably underreported.
The report, written by Kevin Watkins, a non-resident senior research fellow at the Brookings Institute, is written in sober, measured language. But you can sense, too, the frustration at how invisible this problem remains, even as it stares us in the face:

The sheer scale of the road traffic injury epidemic is not widely recognised. There is a widespread tendency to see that epidemic in terms of isolated and unpredictable events — as ‘accidents’ that befall unlucky individuals. In fact, there is nothing unpredictable about road traffic injuries. And the ‘road accident’ vocabulary deflects attention from the systemic nature of the risks that claim so many, many lives.

As Watkins points out, the traffic fatality epidemic affects developing countries disproportionately:
Developing countries may have far fewer cars, but those cars are far more likely to kill or maim. With less than 10 per cent of the world’s motorised vehicles, they account for 42 per cent of deaths…. India alone accounts for 12 per cent of total fatalities. But global aggregates such as these can obscure the impact in countries with smaller populations and fewer vehicles. Measured in terms of death rates for every 100,000 people, road traffic injury deaths in Tanzania or Ethiopia are twice as high as in India — and seven times higher than in the United Kingdom.

Fatality rates among children are typically higher than for the general population. In Bangladesh and Thailand, road traffic fatalities account for 38 per cent and 40 per cent respectively of all child deaths among children aged 10-14 – the single largest cause of death for the age group. Taking developing countries as a group, children aged 5-9 in poor countries are four times more likely to die as a result of road traffic injuries than their counterparts in rich countries.

Soaring rates of air pollution also kill people – another 1.3 million annually, according to the report. And 70 to 90 percent of the lethal pollutants that cause those deaths come from vehicle traffic.”
Via: The Atlantic Cities
Photo: Shutterstock

Road Traffic ‘Single Biggest Source of Fatality’ for Young People Worldwide

Sarah Goodyear. May 3, 2012

When you think of how to achieve public-health progress in the developing world, you might think of engineering clean water sources and sanitation to prevent water-borne diseases. You might think of implementing measures to stop the spread of malaria, like mosquito nets. You might think of distributing vaccines, or designing education programs about HIV/AIDS.

What you probably wouldn’t think of is figuring out how to keep people safe from traffic.

And yet it’s road traffic – itself a marker of progress and prosperity in emerging economies – that in 2004 killed more children around the world between the ages of 5 and 14 than malaria, HIV/AIDS, or diarrhea (that’s the most recent year for which we have full data). According to “Safe and Sustainable Roads: An Agenda for Rio+20,” a new report from the Campaign for Global Road Safety, road traffic is the leading cause of death globally for young people between the ages of 10 and 24.

It’s not just children who are being killed, of course. Some 1.3 million people die every year on roads around the world. That amounts to 3,500 people every day. Millions more – 50 million more annually – are injured. And those numbers are probably underreported.

The report, written by Kevin Watkins, a non-resident senior research fellow at the Brookings Institute, is written in sober, measured language. But you can sense, too, the frustration at how invisible this problem remains, even as it stares us in the face:

The sheer scale of the road traffic injury epidemic is not widely recognised. There is a widespread tendency to see that epidemic in terms of isolated and unpredictable events — as ‘accidents’ that befall unlucky individuals. In fact, there is nothing unpredictable about road traffic injuries. And the ‘road accident’ vocabulary deflects attention from the systemic nature of the risks that claim so many, many lives.

As Watkins points out, the traffic fatality epidemic affects developing countries disproportionately:

Developing countries may have far fewer cars, but those cars are far more likely to kill or maim. With less than 10 per cent of the world’s motorised vehicles, they account for 42 per cent of deaths…. India alone accounts for 12 per cent of total fatalities. But global aggregates such as these can obscure the impact in countries with smaller populations and fewer vehicles. Measured in terms of death rates for every 100,000 people, road traffic injury deaths in Tanzania or Ethiopia are twice as high as in India — and seven times higher than in the United Kingdom.

Fatality rates among children are typically higher than for the general population. In Bangladesh and Thailand, road traffic fatalities account for 38 per cent and 40 per cent respectively of all child deaths among children aged 10-14 – the single largest cause of death for the age group. Taking developing countries as a group, children aged 5-9 in poor countries are four times more likely to die as a result of road traffic injuries than their counterparts in rich countries.

Soaring rates of air pollution also kill people – another 1.3 million annually, according to the report. And 70 to 90 percent of the lethal pollutants that cause those deaths come from vehicle traffic.”

Via: The Atlantic Cities

Photo: Shutterstock

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Mass Urban is a multidisciplinary design-research initiative concerned with contemporary cities and urbanism. Mass Urban was co-founded in April 2011 by David Lee and Cliff Lau.

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