There is a risk that we slowly are adapting to environments that are injurious for us, both in the short- and the long-term. A central dimension emerging in this research programme is anxiety and fear related to children's upbringing which arise from ever growing traffic. This anxiety and fear is summarised in the concept of traffic environmental stress, i.e. stress triggered by factors in the local traffic environment. The programme is conducted in the framework of a theoretical model on environmental stress and people's ways of coping with stress. The objective of the programme is to describe if and how parents and children experience and manage traffic environmental stress in various traffic environments in their neighbourhood. This paper describes some results that have emerged from a questionnaire study of around a thousand parents in different residential areas. The presentation is based on parents of children in the first form at primary school, i.e. children aged seven years. The conclusion drawn from the results is that the design of the future built environment should not be determined exclusively by the desire to minimise accident risks. This is self-evident, but certainly not a sufficient motivation. Outdoor environments must also add to the quality of life in the broad sense of the word, by being safe, wholesome and stimulating for children's development.