Urban Planning for Child Development (11-19-21)

Binter and colleagues studied links between urban design and child development.  They report that they “investigated the association between early-life urban environment and cognitive and motor function in children. We used data from 5403 mother–child pairs from four population-based birth-cohorts (UK, France, Spain, and Greece). . . . Higher greenness exposure within 300 m during pregnancy was associated with higher verbal abilities. . . . Higher connectivity density within 100 m and land use diversity during pregnancy were related to lower verbal abilities. Childhood exposure to PM2.5 mediated 74% of the association between greenness during childhood and verbal abilities. Higher exposure to PM2.5 during pregnancy was related to lower fine motor function. . . .  This study suggests that built environment, greenness, and air pollution may impact child cognitive and motor function at five years old. This study adds evidence that well-designed urban planning may benefit children’s cognitive and motor development.”

Anne-Claire Binter and 18 others. 2022.   “Urban Environment and Cognitive and Motor Function in Children from Four European Birth Cohorts.”  Environment International, vol. 158, 106933, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106933