About this Blog

This blog attempts to deal with the question posed by an old Cat Stevens song:

Well I think it’s fine, building jumbo planes
Or taking a ride on a cosmic train
Switch on summer from a slot machine
Yes, get what you want to if you want, ’cause you can get anything

I know we’ve come a long way
We’re changing day to day
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass
For your lorry loads, pumping petrol gas
And you make them long, and you make them tough
But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can’t get off

Oh, I know we’ve come a long way
We’re changing day to day
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you’ve cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air
But will you keep on building higher till there’s no more room up there
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

I know we’ve come a long way
We’re changing day to day
But tell me, where do the children play?

If an urban planner with two young kids cannot confidently answer this troubling question, who can?

Believe it or not, planners are probably the last people that can adequately answer this. We are locked into acronymic thinking, bureaucratic process and political squabbling. Ideals often get shelved for midnight reading and meditation. Once we’re back at the office, the projects at hand take precedence over sound planning practice. Often these projects are planned with target users in mind that have nothing to do with childhood. These projects often lack grounding.

Through this blog, we can try to ground our thoughts and lead the development boat in the direction of planning for our children. For if we plan with our kids in mind, the resulting communities will already be suitable places to live for adults and the elderly, the latter of whom also share special needs with the children in their community, such as safety, walkability and a pleasurable environment.

I welcome your comments, input, ideas and activism.

Nalini, Mari and Lita’s mom

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