Schools can't be considered the only fix for fostering the healthy development of inner-city children, said study co-author Andrea Faber Taylor, a Jonathan Baldwin Turner graduate fellow at the U. of I. "What about children's free time? We need to consider where they spend that time. Children need nearby spaces that support activities, such as play, that are important for healthy development."
The study -- funded by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council -- carefully documented previous research that links the importance of play on social and cognitive development of children and the accessibility the children have to responsible adults.
"This study argues that the way we design our cities has a very critical impact on the people who live in them, in particular the children who are growing up there," said co-author William C. Sullivan, a landscape architect in the U. of I. department of natural resources and environmental sciences.