A Role for Children in Planning

A post by Bill Lennertz, executive director of the National Charrette Institute, "Children: Savvy Community Planners," is one among many posts on the American Planning Association's (APA) Kids Planning Toolbox. Lennertz emphasis the value that children can bring when included in charrettes with their knowledge of special neighborhood places and a different perspective than adults - often a more open-minded perspective.  Lennertz advises that involving classes with the support of teachers can prove effective, especially at the middle school age.  Lennertz writes about a charrette in Michigan where members of the team visited middle school classes to involve the children in mini-charrettes. The blog includes many other ideas for involving children in planning activities and ways to bring community and schools together.  Years ago I was involved in Citizen Schools as a volunteer teacher with a colleague.  We taught a group of Boston Public School 4th graders about community planning, helping them see their community in a different way and helping us see our profession in a different way.