"Building Child-Friendly Properties: Focus on the Family"

 Families of all kinds and sizes live in every neighborhood in the United States. Families may live in a neighborhood, but that doesn't mean it's really family-friendly. In fact, many people think that modern towns are not friendly to families. Even so, the neighborhood is still safe and well-kept. If a community doesn't welcome families, it could make it harder for them to do their jobs or get to places like homes, transportation, schools, government services, and community events.

1. Schools with better facilities

Today, towns often choose to put their newest schools on the edges of cities, where land is easier to find and costs less. This usually means that kids and their families have to drive farther to get to school, which makes walking or riding a bike impractical. From 48% in 1969 to just 13% in 2009, the number of kids who walked or rode their bikes to school dropped.

More roads need to be built so that these new schools can be built farther away from the city center. Still, the distance and amount of traffic on these highways make it harder for kids to walk or ride their bikes to and from school. Because of this, cities and towns have to rely on parent-led transportation and bus services to make sure that kids can safely get to and from school. This could be a problem for parents who have to commute to work or who can't find a good place to live close to a newer, better school.

A mistake made by city planners is not realizing that a well-thought-out school in the middle of the city's business area can be a great resource for everyone. When an existing building is fixed up to be used as a school, it becomes an educational hub for the community, students, and their families.

2. Smart Housing
There is a big need for urban places that are easy to get around on foot, but there aren't enough suitable homes in these areas for families. Because there isn't a lot of good property available, what is there can be very expensive. This could make it hard or impossible for families to find affordable housing in the places they want.

Incorporating middle housing, which includes low-rise apartment buildings and flats, into urban planning is necessary to make cities that are good for all kinds of families. For added convenience, cooperative living often has a courtyard or other shared outdoor space where kids can play and families can get together.

A picture of the family with the dog
3. Transportation: It's true that many families like cities where they can walk around, but modern towns were built with cars in mind. In cities with a lot of people living in a small area, this can make walkways narrow and crowded, and crosswalks dangerous because pedestrians don't have the right-of-way. Parents may not want to move to some places because their children live close to dangerous and crowded roads. Everyone can usually use public transportation, but it might not be available at odd times or be right for people with disabilities or parents pushing strollers with little kids.

Some cities, like Atlanta, Georgia, have been successful at coming up with ways to get people to walk more and drive less. Atlanta Streets Alive plans events in the city and nearby areas every afternoon. People are urged to walk or ride bikes while the streets are closed to traffic. The goal of this project is to show city leaders and people what city streets would look like if making them easier to walk on were given more importance than making them easier to drive on for the benefit of everyone.

4. Features that are good for families
Housing, schools, and transportation are very important to families, but they are not enough to make them want to move to your town permanently. Families also want a lot of events and choices for the weekends to keep them busy.

A little kid is playing xyphon on the field.
It should be a top goal for city planners to make sure that communities have kid-friendly entertainment options like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and trampoline parks. Also, companies that offer discounts for families or kids, like free admission days or meals for kids on certain days of the week, are a great way to connect with families and show that they care about the community.

Along with sports, day camps, and fun activities for kids, city leaders and managers who put families first should make sure that these kinds of programs are available. Families often move to the suburbs so that their kids can have more activities that are proper for their age. Giving towns these amenities and activities more attention helps families stay there by reassuring them that their kids will have the same chances and levels of involvement as they would in other places.

5. Places to have fun
Every city plan needs to include places for families to relax and play together. In big cities, especially, open green areas are very important for giving people of all ages the space they need to exercise, hang out with friends, and learn more about their neighborhood.

The number of trees in cities can also be greatly increased through parks. It has been shown that trees can improve mental health, make sidewalks cooler, and make streets quieter. They also make any room look more elegant. Cities and towns show they care about their residents' mental health and well-being by giving them green spaces where families can play and connect. They also support family togetherness by giving family members cheap and easy ways to interact with each other.

The playground is an important part of any park. No matter if your city or town builds an inclusive playground, a themed playground, or a mix of the two to accommodate kids of all ages and abilities, giving them a place to jump, climb, and swing is a great way to show that your city or town cares about families.

Another important reason why city planners should put a lot of effort into building recreation areas is that they provide useful meeting places for kids and teens. By putting money into making places that are appropriate for people of different ages, cities might be able to lessen the problems they face. By spending money on a controlled skateboard park for teens or a plaza next to fast food restaurants and coffee shops, a city or town can show it cares about its young people and encourage them to do healthy activities for fun.


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