Can the neighbourhood built environment make a difference to children’s development? Building the research agenda to create evidence for place-based children’s policy

Article


Villanueva, Karen, Badland, Hannah, Kvalsvig, Amanda, O'Connor, Meredith, Christian, Hayley, Woolcock, Geoffrey, Giles-Corti, Billie and Goldfeld, Sharon. 2016. "Can the neighbourhood built environment make a difference to children’s development? Building the research agenda to create evidence for place-based children’s policy." Academic Pediatrics. 16 (1), pp. 10-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2015.09.006
Article Title

Can the neighbourhood built environment make a difference to children’s development? Building the research agenda to create evidence for place-based children’s policy

ERA Journal ID15622
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsVillanueva, Karen (Author), Badland, Hannah (Author), Kvalsvig, Amanda (Author), O'Connor, Meredith (Author), Christian, Hayley (Author), Woolcock, Geoffrey (Author), Giles-Corti, Billie (Author) and Goldfeld, Sharon (Author)
Journal TitleAcademic Pediatrics
Journal Citation16 (1), pp. 10-19
Number of Pages10
Year2016
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1530-1567
1876-2859
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2015.09.006
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876285915002867
Abstract

Healthy child development is determined by a combination of physical, social, family, individual, and environmental factors. Thus far, the majority of child development research has focused on the influence of individual, family, and school environments and has largely ignored the neighborhood context despite the increasing policy interest. Yet given that neighborhoods are the locations where children spend large periods of time outside of home and school, it is plausible the physical design of neighborhoods (built environment), including access to local amenities, can affect child development. The relatively few studies exploring this relationship support associations between child development and neighborhood destinations, green spaces, interaction with nature, traffic exposure, and housing density. These studies emphasize the need to more deeply understand how child development outcomes might be influenced by the neighborhood built environment. Pursuing this research space is well aligned with the current global movements on livable and child-friendly cities. It has direct public policy impact by informing planning policies across a range of sectors (urban design and planning, transport, public health, and pediatrics) to implement place-based interventions and initiatives that target children’s health and development at the community level. We argue for the importance of exploring the effect of the neighborhood built environment on child development as a crucial first step toward informing urban design principles to help reduce developmental vulnerability in children and to set optimal child development trajectories early.

Keywordsbuilt environment, child development, neighborhood,physical environment, place-based, policy
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420601. Community child health
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Melbourne
Wesley Mission, Queensland
Griffith University
University of Western Australia
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Funding source
Australian Research Council (ARC)
Grant ID
LP130100411
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