This essay reaches into the complex issues of urban growth to ask how we can insert a better understanding of children’s needs and perspectives into the governance, planning and management of cities. The issue of how cities develop has distinct and serious implications for children. Children are more vulnerable to many of the hazards of cities, but, with the exception of schooling and sometimes recreation, the particular needs of children are rarely given a special focus by those who plan and manage cities. There is a tendency to think that people who live in cities are better off than those in rural areas and, in average terms they are, in many respects this is misleading because of the great disparities in wealth.1 For this reason the paper gives particular focus to identifying and working with those children and families living in poverty who are most in need of support.
Keywords: Normative and policy research, child participation, community development, academic research, policy guidelines, chid and youth participation