The Utopianism of children: An empirical study of children's neighborhood design preferences

Emily Talen, Mary Coffindaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about the environmental preferences of children. While planners have taught children about planning, relatively little academic research has been conducted on what children can teach the discipline about planning. This paper summarizes the results of a survey of the planning preferences of 248 children in kindergarten through second grade. The content analysis revealed a preference for land use variety and for places associated with activity and social interaction. Children tended to favor diversity and accessibility, as opposed to homogeneity and privacy. Further, the children's plans were different in terms of age and particularly in terms of gender. Children were able to conceptualize neighborhood even at the kindergarten level, and many of their conceptualizations were not dissimilar from the traditional view of neighborhood espoused by planners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies

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