Concepts of fear and safety are crucial in contemporary debate on children and young people. An increasing adult fear regarding children’s and young people’s safety is noticeably having an impact on the structure of the everyday lives of these groups. Understanding the connections between conceptions of fear, everyday life and spatial behaviour is important in order to achieve sustainable urban environments in which people of all ages can feel safe and act independently The physical and social structures of cities are often pointed out as main factors that may potentially threaten and harm children and young people. Ironically, the increasing fear regarding children and young people’s safety is in itself causing a threat to these groups and this threat is often more distinct than the original source of fear. As children and young people’s independent mobility decrease and they are constantly under protection and surveillance of the adult community, children’s environmental competence, self-esteem and independence become affected. This paper focuses on the contradictions that characterise the debate on children, young people and issues of fear and safety in the city. It aims at distinguishing how adult fear put restrictions on children and young people and to understand how children and young people negotiate these restrictions with their own everyday experiences. The paper discusses how conceptions of fear may differ and coincide between children and adults and how this affects everyday life, construction of identity and belonging. The paper draws on two research projects. The first project involves Swedish and English children in the ages of 8 and 11, and the second project concern Swedish young people in the ages of 15-17. The research is based on qualitative studies, and the main focus has been to understand place experiences in regard to physical and social structures as well as emotional attachment to place. Although, there are several obvious differences between children and young people the study reveal several common overall structures that affect children and young people similarly. These structures severely affect everyday life, place attachment and ability to be a part of the community, and regard how children and young people negotiate adult conceptions of fear, adult restrictions as well as their own experiences and conceptions of what may be harmful.