OUR REPORT
OUR REPORT

Building
Child-Centered

Communities

Building
Child-Centered

Communities

The environments where children grow up have immense impact on their health and wellness. And places where children can thrive are places where all of us want to be. What do child-centered communities look like? And how might we work together to create more of them in America?

Over the past 9 months, Raising Places explored these questions in six diverse U.S. communities. This report is a synthesis of the trends, insights and lessons we’ve learned.

A healthy environment has an outsize effect on children. And places where children can thrive are places where all of us want to be. What do child-centered communities look like? And how might we work together to create more of them in America?

Why do child-centered 
communities matter?
What do child-centered 
communities look like?
How do we create 
child-centered communities?

What do child-centered communities look like?

Children’s issues are community issues, but taking a child-centered lens on these issues changes the conversation, and ultimately the results, in ways both subtle and profound. Scroll down for a snapshot of insights and ideas from the Raising Places labs process.

A child-centered lens creates principles for better communities.

Every component of a neighborhood, from housing and transportation to planning and zoning, influences child development, as Urban 95 has discovered. Here are just a few examples from the six Raising Places communities:

Child-centered communities create learning experiences across all of kids’ social and physical environments.

Learning happens everywhere children go, and educators are exploring a range of strategies to maximize children’s natural inclination to learn—both inside and outside the classroom. For example, teachers are making their classrooms more student-centered, and organizations like Urban Thinkscape are transforming community environments, like bus stops and sidewalks, into playful educational encounters.

Raising Places teams found ways to encourage learning all around their communities: