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A City Map Made for (And by) Kids

Growing Up Boulder created the nation’s first printed kid-friendly city map, designed to help parents and children find their way in the Colorado city.
Boulder second-graders pose with an in-progress draft of the Growing Up Boulder map.
Boulder second-graders pose with an in-progress draft of the Growing Up Boulder map.Jade Cody/Growing Up Boulder

When Mara Mintzer moved to Boulder 11 years ago, she felt a little lost. “I had trouble figuring out what to do with my year-old daughter in the city, especially on days with bad weather,” she says. “I wished there was some resource to guide me and help me feel less isolated.”

Mintzer, a Boston native and co-author of Placemaking with Children and Youth, came to the Colorado city from the San Francisco Bay Area. She’d seen printed maps that directed residents to area playgrounds in suburban Sydney, Australia; such a map might help, she thought—but something more comprehensive would be even better. “I wanted something I could use that would prepare me for the day,” she says. “Are there going to be changing tables? Will my kid need a bathing suit?”