Who makes Jane Jacobs proud? Kids do!

Epic designs from a young mind.
Epic facade treatments from a young city builder.

If bold visions and love-of-community are characteristics of great planners, then I believe children make great planners. And I’ll just underscore my personal bias now by defining “great planner” as a common sense person who would make Jane Jacobs proud.

Don’t expect kids to have a design concept that conforms to your local zoning code. But do expect them to express visions of safe streets and memorable destinations to visit. Seemingly childish questions forced me to articulate basic assumptions that are generally taken for granted. It’s easy to get lost in professional lingo and forget that using plain language can point out obvious flaws in our plans.

Here’s a recent post from the Kids’ Planning Toolbox, a blog by American Planning Association.

Do you have any smart ideas to engage children in planning studies? Or maybe “childish questions” you wish we grown-ups would ask each other? If so, we’d love to hear ’em.

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