The Convention on the Rights of the Child attempts to control and regulate the conditions of children's lives in order to facilitate the whole development of the child. One of the critical aspects of development that is often neglected is autonomy, and one of the areas of life that a child needs to be able to control is the quality of the environment. Through a case study approach conducted in three different urban locations and through interviews with children from 10 through 12 years of age, this presentation discusses the congruence between qualities of the environment and the environment's ability to provide for safety without at the same time limiting the child's need for the autonomy that is so essential for development.