Creating Child Friendly Cities: New Perspectives and by Brendan Gleeson, Neil Sipe

By Brendan Gleeson, Neil Sipe

First released in 2006. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Windfall profits, driven by relentless cost minimization and 36 Brendan Gleeson by record federal subsidies, are not leading to pay improvements in a notoriously low-pay industry, or to better services in high-need communities. Flood’s study demonstrates that low- and middle-income parents struggle to access formal care. He concludes: ‘poorer parents are priced out of the care they need for their children, and parents in disadvantaged communities are more likely to find that no childcare places are available’ (Flood 2004: 7).

This chapter explores some of the implications of urban structural change in Australia for children at both ends of the wealth scale. It charts the emergence of ‘toxic cities’: urban areas that fail to nurture the young, and that increasingly threaten them with physical and mental harm. The portrayal is a grim indictment of neo-liberal reform, which has taken us progressively further from the idea of child friendly cities. It begins by reviewing ‘toxic’ changes to the urban public realm, including transformations to childhood services that have exposed children to the vicissitudes of profit driven ‘care’.

UNICEF (2002b) Poverty and Exclusion Among Urban Children, Florence: UNICEF Innocenti centre. UNICEF (2004a) Building Child Friendly Cities: A Framework for Action, Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research centre. UNICEF (2004b) Definition of a Child Friendly City, UNICEF. Available online: www. html (accessed 24 October 2004). UNICEF (2005) State of the World’s Children 2005, New York: UNICEF. UNICEF (undated) How to Build a Child Friendly City, UNICEF. html (accessed 24 October 2004). 1 Brendan Gleeson Not seen, not heard There is much contemporary hand wringing over the implications of population ageing.

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