Sidewalks and Responsibility

Growing up in a small suburban town, my parents were never concerned with the safety of our street. Especially since they knew everyone that lived on the block. Most of the time I was outside I would either be riding my bikes around the street or running from house to house. I was even given the freedom to roam outside of my neighborhood. On Fridays I would walk into town and spend hours there with my friends. Or I would go to a friends house and not be in contact with my parents for long periods of time. In Jacobs reading she discusses how children living in cities are not given the freedom to create their own adventures outside without cause for concern. Although I did not grow up with the type of childhood that Jacobs discusses I can only imagine how difficult it can be to constantly worry about the safety of children. Before this class I never thought to reflect on the safety of the playgrounds in my town or other park areas. I believe that as a class we have the ability to make these spaces safer for the children of the community.
It was known that if all the neighborhood kids were out playing at least one of the parents would be looking after the children. Jane Jacobs mentions this idea and says that “people must take a modicum of public responsibility for each other…”. My neighborhood acted as their own community by trusting one another to look after the children. This was not done verbally which I believe strengthened the “togetherness” of my street.

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