The function of this paper is to initiate a discussion of the kinds of questions that should be asked when one considers what kind of environment is needed in the year 2000 to optimize human growth and development. More specifically, the paper focuses on the problems of the infant and young child in the 21st century urban environment. The essay is broken down into three categories; (1) the immediate environment (the infant's crib and bath facilities; toys; playrooms; etc.); (2) the orbital environment (the immediate environment in relation, to all other needs--health services, schools, etc.); and (3) the orbital environment as an extended family (a general category including the child's environment and its implications for the parents). Most of the essay deals with the immediate environment. Several specific problems of infants and young children in urban centers in the future are brought up. It is pointed out that technology often outstrips the ability to ask relevant questions from it.