Growing up in the inner city: Green spaces as places to grow

Andrea Faber Taylor, Angela R Wiley, Frances E. Kuo, William C. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children growing up in the inner city are at risk for a range of negative developmental outcomes. Do barren, inner-city neighborhood spaces compromise the everyday activities and experiences necessary for healthy development? Sixty-four urban public housing outdoor spaces (27 low vegetation, 37 high vegetation) were observed on four separate occasions. Overall, inner-city children's everyday activities and access to adults appeared remarkably healthy; of the 262 children observed, most (73%) were involved in some type of play, and most groups of children (87%) were supervised to some degree. In relatively barren spaces, however, the picture was considerably less optimistic: Levels of play and access to adults were approximately half as much as those found in spaces with more trees and grass, and the incidence of creative play was significantly lower in barren spaces than in relatively green spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-27
Number of pages25
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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