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How kids can help design cities- Mara Mintzer


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Adults tend to think of kids as "future citizens" -- their ideas and opinions will matter someday, just not today. But shouldn't they have a say in what the world they'll inherit will look like? Urban planner Mara Mintzer shares what happened when she and her team asked kids to help design a park in Boulder, Colorado.

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Modern city planners are aware of the need to survey and involve future residents. The magic word: participation. Over the past decade or so, involving children in urban planning processes has become the norm. More and more local and international organizations offer kids the opportunity to take an active part in shaping their environment.

One of these projects is “Block by Block,” a program initiated by the UN in 2012 together with Microsoft and the developers of the computer game Minecraft.

As cities have soared higher and higher, some have ignored street-level life – an essential component for residents to build relationships to each other and their surroundings. By literally taking it down to a child’s level, people can increase the intensity of urban interconnectedness, and strengthen the fabric of a good quality of life.

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