The Necessity of Urban Green Space for Children’s Optimal Development

“Green spaces can significantly benefit children’s physical, mental and social development – from infancy into adulthood,” according to UNICEF’s recently released discussion paper prioritizing childcare centers and schools.

NLI contributed to the publication, which defines green space and outlines the many benefits on children’s health and development. Actions to improve access to green spaces are listed. Recommended interventions focus on empowering communities to claim and maintain their local green spaces, securing government support to improve and create green space in cities, and prioritizing schools and childcare centers for greening. Proposals include providing funds and expertise to identify, map, reclaim, and redesign public spaces, as well as supporting environmental education with outdoor components.

Fast forward, carrying children’s desire for nature across the decades to 2021, when UNICEF published Necessity of Urban Green Space for Children’s Optimal Development as an urban-centric, evidence-based, easy-to-read plea on behalf of children, community leaders, policymakers, and all who care about children’s health, wellbeing, and success in life to recognize the importance of growing up in bio-rich, everyday spaces for those living in urban settlements.