On 6th August 2020 the National Association of City Transport Officials (NACTO) released a 216 page guide entitled Designing Streets for Kids.
NACTO is an association of 86 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices. NACTO’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life.
Designing Streets for Kids is structured into three major sections. The first looks at children’s abilities and needs. The second contains a wide range of design solutions with photos and detailed descriptions from best practice examples from across the world. The third gives advice on how to make change happen.
Most streets were not built with children in mind, and current street conditions in many places are unwelcoming and unsafe for kids. Traffic crashes kill 1.35 million people every year and they are the leading cause of death for young people ages 5-29. Traffic congestion and vehicle designs can also contribute to dangerously high levels of air pollution, which is responsible for the death of 127,000 children under the age of five each year. Many of these fatalities are preventable, and these numbers can be dramatically reduced through kid-friendly street design.
“Children are the most vulnerable people on city streets, and their safety should come first,” said Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, a sponsor of the guide, and Former Mayor of the City of New York. “But until recently, streets were designed around automobiles—not people. We’ve begun to change that, and it’s saving a lot of lives. This guide will help more cities take action, and make their streets safer and better for residents of all ages.”
Designing Streets for Kids can be purchased in print form or downloaded free of charge, here.