Child-Friendly and Sustainable Cities: Exploring Global Studies on Children’s Freedom, Mobility, and Risk

  • Karen MaloneEmail author
  • Julie Rudner
Reference work entry
Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 12)


This chapter explores the role of child-friendly cities in supporting sustainable development of cities. It does this by ascertaining how to devise an approach to analyzing children’s independent mobility (CIM) by reviewing global studies on freedom, mobility, and risk and then applying a sociocultural-ecological analysis to consider some of the challenges. By applying this approach, the authors seek to better understand the sociocultural-ecological factors that are unique to specific countries, cities, or communities and expose how these could be influential in understanding the diversity of children’s experiences. A diversity and range of experiences are presented that are not just country focused using generalized country level data but delve into the individual nuances of communities and cities to understand the similarities and differences within and across cities and communities at a local and global level. The chapter starts with an introduction and a critical review of the range of studies in CIM globally and their limitations. It then seeks to explore how important acknowledging the complexity of sociocultural-ecological differences within cities and countries and across countries will be to planning child-friendly and sustainable cities over the next two decades, in light of the introduction of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Child-friendly cities initiative (CFCI) Children’s independent mobility (CIM) Age and gender Multiculturalism Negotiating and decision-making Risk conception School access Settlement types Socioeconomic status United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 


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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Australia, as represented by University of Western Sydney 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Educational ResearchUniversity of Western SydneyPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.School of Humanities, Community Planning and DevelopmentLa Trobe UniversityBendigoAustralia

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