Laboratory of Psychology of Child Participation

The Laboratory of Psychology of Child Participation promote the international project "The City of Children". The project was born in Fano in May 1991. The project has the political motivation of working toward a new governmental philosophy of the city, engaging the children as parameters and as guarantors of the needs of all citizens. It intends to promote two fundamental aspects in the life of children: their autonomy and their participation. 

  • Children; independent mobility; children’s physical and social development; quality of life
Francesco Tonucci.

Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione - CNR
Via San Martino della Battaglia, 44 - 00185 Roma


The project "The City of Children" is founded on various motivations, of which the most important and significant are synthesized here below. The downgrading of cities is, in large part, due to the choice of giving preference to the needs of adult male citizens and those that are productive as an economic and administrative priority; this situation is suffered by all citizens but even more so the most vulnerable and the youngest. The power of the adult worker is demonstrated by the importance that the automobile has taken on in our society, conditioning the structural and functional choices of the city and creating serious difficulties for the health and safety of all the citizens.
The main activities to promote children's autonomy and participation are: Autonomy: We Go to School Alone. Right from the start the project took on, as one of its main objectives, that of making it possible for children to leave their home without being accompanied by an adult so that they could meet friends and play with them in the public areas of the city: from the courtyard to the sidewalks, from the public square to the parks. 
Participation: Children’s  Council and Participatory Planning. Starting from the idea that every child is a citizen has ideas and proposals about the city, we propose to the Mayor a group of children for giving him suggestions and councils for a good administration. A fundamental tool for rebuilding a serene and favourable environment for children is to ask for their contribution, call them to collaborate towards a real change in the urban environment. By means of the correct forms of participation, the children conduct coherent and important experiences of being citizens that contribute to the wellbeing of all those around them.  






Francesco Tonucci
Associate Researcher



Technical Staff


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