If children are not able to explore the whole of the adult world round about them, they cannot become adults. But modern cities are so dangerous that children cannot be allowed to explore them freely.


As part of the network of bike paths, develop one system of paths that is extra safe—entirely separate from automobiles, with lights and bridges at the crossings, with homes and shops along it, so that there are nearly always many eyes on the path. Let this path go through every neighborhood, so that children can get onto it without crossing a main road. And run the path all through the city, down pedestrian streets, through workshops, assembly plants, warehouses, interchanges, print houses, bakeries, all the interesting “invisible” life of a town—so that the children can roam freely on their bikes and trikes.

… roads, bike paths, and main pedestrian paths are given their position by Parallel Roads (23), Promenade (31), Looped Local Roads (49), Green Streets (51), Network of Paths and Cars (52), Bike Paths and Racks (56). Some of them are safe for children, others are less safe. Now, finally, to complete the paths and roads, it is essential to define at least one place, right in the very heart of cities, where children can be completely free and safe. If handled properly, this pattern can play a great role in helping to create the Network of Learning (18).

Line the children’s path with windows, especially from rooms that are in frequent use, so that the eyes upon the street make it safe for the children — Street Windows (164); make it touch the children’s place all along the path — Connected Play (68), Adventure Playground (73), Shopfront Schools (85), Children’s Home (86), but also make it touch other phases of the life cycle — Old People Everywhere (40), Work Community (41), University as a Marketplace (43), Grave Sites (70), Local Sports (72), Animals (74), Teenage Society (84)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 293low-confidence