Early Years

Early Years

About 380 million children under 5 years old live in cities around the world, and around 1 million neural connections are formed every second in a young child’s brain, shaped by their interactions with people and space. This domain explores how conscious design can contribute to shaping cities into an environment for all young children to develop to their full potential.

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New neural connections in babies' brains are shaped by the quantity, frequency, and duration of warm, stimulating, and responsive interactions with their caregivers – most often parents. The quality of urban spaces influences babies and toddlers directly by shaping their spatial experiences, and indirectly by modulating the quantity, frequency, and duration of child-caregiver interactions in cities.

Urban planners, designers, managers, decision-makers, and all those involved in the maintenance, upkeep, and usage of urban environments are brain builders too and can support caregivers in giving urban babies and toddlers the best chances in life. A baby or toddler’s relationships with the adults in their life are the most important influences on their development. These relationships begin at home, with parents and other family members, and then extend outside the home onto the street, the neighbourhood, and the wider city.

In this domain, we aim at featuring the work, thinking, and practical solutions being developed at the intersection of conscious design and early childhood development.

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New neural connections in babies' brains are shaped by the quantity, frequency, and duration of warm, stimulating, and responsive interactions with their caregivers – most often parents. The quality of urban spaces influences babies and toddlers directly by shaping their spatial experiences, and indirectly by modulating the quantity, frequency, and duration of child-caregiver interactions in cities.

Urban planners, designers, managers, decision-makers, and all those involved in the maintenance, upkeep, and usage of urban environments are brain builders too and can support caregivers in giving urban babies and toddlers the best chances in life. A baby or toddler’s relationships with the adults in their life are the most important influences on their development. These relationships begin at home, with parents and other family members, and then extend outside the home onto the street, the neighbourhood, and the wider city.

In this domain, we aim at featuring the work, thinking, and practical solutions being developed at the intersection of conscious design and early childhood development.

Katie King
Joe Waters
Elisha Cooper
Manisha Balani
Grace Whited
Julien Vincelot

Contributors

Katie King

Joe Waters

Mariana Pereira Guimarães
Qendra Marrëdhënie

Which indicators could be used to measure the wellbeing of children in the built environment?

Beata Patuszyńska

There are almost 1,4 million children aged 7-12 living in urban areas§ in Poland, who constitute 6% of the population. It is a...

Julien Vincelot

Density of brain connections in the brain, by age. : Adapted from Corel, JL. The postnatal development of the human cerebral cortex. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University...

Shaun Andrews

How will human-centric design and neuroscience transform the field of urban planning?