Designing Child-Friendly Communities

Perry Bigelow, Aurora, IL

ABSTRACT: “A community that maintains itself in health and comfort can only happen if it is designed for children”, asserted Perry Bigelow, Founder and President of the Bigelow Group, developer of HomeTown Aurora. HomeTown was designed to give children free range throughout the neighborhood to play with friends, explore, and interact with neighborhood adults in a safe environment. He presented the architectural and planning details used to achieve these goals, including traffic-free Living Courts, wide sidewalks, traffic calmed streets designed in the European “Woonerf” style, large and small parks, town center and school.

“When children play with each other according to their natural uninhibited childishness and inquisitiveness” says Perry Bigelow, “it draws the adults into the society the children create. Which, of necessity, draws adults into relationships with each other. Children are our future. Their social and physical health is at the heart of what it means to have a community that sustains itself over the long haul.”

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