Children Have More Freedom In The City

MLewyn's picture

Two phrases you might hear from parents who live in sprawl:

1.  "We moved so our kids could play on the lawn."

2.  "We can't let the kids go outside because there are molesters/crazy drivers everywhere."

I don't see how both these propositions can be true.  If you can't let your children play on the lawn, what's the point in having one?  And as a practical matter, I think #1 is outdated because (in my limited experience with nieces) the children would really rather be inside playing video games anyhow.

More broadly, my experience is that children in urban areas (outside the worst, most crime-ridden areas) actually have more freedom.  In the suburban area where I grew up (and the similar suburban area where my nephew grew up), I never see children outside because no one other than the occasional dog walker or the most hardened cyclist goes outside except in a car: everyone drives or is driven. 

By contrast, in middle-class urban neighborhoods (especially high-birthrate areas such as the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of New York's outer boroughs) I see children running around fairly frequently.


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