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The Ecology of ChildhoodHow Our Changing World Threatens Children's Rights$
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Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794845

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794845.001.0001

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Building Small Worlds in Urban Spaces

Building Small Worlds in Urban Spaces

(p.260) 12 Building Small Worlds in Urban Spaces
The Ecology of Childhood

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

NYU Press

Chapter twelve calls for a renewal of the “small is beautiful” movement and explores how the benefits of growing up in a village can be recreated in urban settings. The author presents E. F. Schumacher’s 1973 book Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, and its relationship to contemporary concepts, such as sustainability and the circular economy. that focus on sustaining human-scaled communities rather than on growing the GDP. The author describes and compares two initiatives that mobilize the strength of collaborative community to benefit at risk children and youth. The first is set in the city of Naples, in southern Italy, where a parish priest named Antonio Loffredo tapped the energy and aspirations of young people to build a collaborative community cooperative in an inner city neighbourhood called La Sanita’, as an alternative to the lure of organized crime. The second is the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), founded in the historically black neighbourhood of New York City by Geoffrey Canada, to prove that black children, given a fair start, could achieve the American dream. While similar in many ways, each initiative was shaped by and reflects the macrosystemic values of the surrounding culture.

Keywords:   Economics, Sustainability, Urban, Harlem Children’s Zone, La Sanita’, Bigness, Smallness, Cooperative, Collaborative, Community

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