As an ongoing promotion for the upcoming ULI Minnesota YLG Annual Program on March 10th, I’m posting a number of articles related to the topic: kid-friendly cities. Today’s link, from the National Post, is about safety, the perception of safety and how families choose a neighborhood. Enjoy, and I hope to see you at the program.
Families like Ms. Roux-Vlachova’s say they find safety in their tightly packed urban communities, where tiny lots mean neighbours keep a watchful eye, where condominiums are staffed with security guards and parents can walk to most stores, schools and playgrounds.
Their arguments are bolstered by a growing body of research showing that the traditional family dream home — a large house on a big lot in a quiet suburb — may actually be more dangerous for children than many inner-city neighbourhoods.
While many parents worry that city living could mean their children will be abducted or caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting, it is exceedingly rare for children to be harmed or murdered by strangers, says William Lucy, a University of Virginia urban planning professor whose studies on safe communities are most often quoted by parents arguing for city living.
Perceptions about urban safety are still “lagging well behind reality,” Mr. Lucy says.
In reality, the greatest risk to children is car crashes, which are more likely to occur in the suburbs, where children spend more time in cars or playing next to busy roads.
“In terms of traffic fatalities versus homicides by strangers, it’s almost a 13-to-one ratio,” he says.