Publication: Тhe city from below
According to Ansell and Smith (2008, p.1), children's position within a nation or culture holds an "immense symbolic significance". This is to say that how a society conceptualises and provides for its children represents a strategic domain in which complex social, political and moral agendas are mobilised (Freeman, 1997). Some childhood theorists go further and suggest that focusing on concepts of children and childhood is essential to understand a society or social context as a whole (Jenks, 1982; 1996; James & Prout, 1997; Corsaro, 2005). Nevertheless, however, even though children and kids are citizens to all intents and purposes (and with their own needs and rights), on the one hand, their mobility across the city – as non-drivers – is strongly reduced (Miere, 2008), so that their "right to the city" (Lefebvre, 1968) is denied in practice (see: Bozzo, 1998; Dolto, 2000; Moro, 1991); on the other hand, they usually are substantially excluded from decisions concerning the urban spaces of their daily life since they are considered as non-adults, 'still-in-progress entities' having no voice (Scoppetta, 2014a; see also: Alldred, 2000 as well as Spivak, 1994). But it is worth remembering that, after all, the well-known definition of sustainable development explicitly refers to "future generations" (WCED, 1987). Therefore, the exclusion of children and teen-agers from decision-making reveals the vagueness of such definition – "starting from how needs are to be defined and anticipated, and by whom" (Pellizzoni, 2012) – as well as the problematic character of sustainability itself.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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