Also: Why mayors keep offering tax breaks, and measuring ‘anti-social capital.’
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What We’re Following
Drawn together: Kids living in poverty often lack access to the advantages of life in cities. Their families may live far from services and opportunities, or in denser but poorer neighborhoods that lack child-friendly amenities, like green space or safe streets. As a result, they’re sometimes worse off than children who live in the countryside. It’s with this in mind that UNICEF made a handbook to tackle a key design challenge: How to provide spaces where children living in urban poverty can play and prosper.
The focus on playgrounds is an important one. The idea is that by drawing kids to playgrounds, you can encourage adults to use other services and opportunities in the city. And the play spaces featured in the guide were built using principles that can be applied anywhere: from an immigrant neighborhood in Brussels, to the refugee encampments of Bar Elias, Lebanon, to an informal settlement located outside Nairobi, Kenya (pictured above). In one case, designers brought children into the brainstorming and design process to give them a sense of ownership over the project. “I am here to build the playground with you,” a five-year old told them, “so when I go back to Syria, I can build one myself.”
Today on CityLab: How to Design Playgrounds for the World’s Most Vulnerable Kids
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
The war over Amazon’s HQ2 is playing out in people’s mailboxes (Fast Company)
Millions could lose power under PG&E’s plan to prevent wildfires (NPR)
Farm Belt bankruptcies are soaring (Wall Street Journal)
Op-ed: We need a national rural broadband plan (New York Times)
NYPD demands Google stop revealing drunken driving checkpoints (NBC News)