Date: 21-03-2019

WEBINAR - Building Better Cities for Young Children to Thrive

Tags: Webinar

A free webinar especially for representatives of civil society organizations, groups and networks of professionals will take place 29 March 2019 at 3PM CET.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 which is ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ identifies that currently 3.5 billion people in the world live in cities and by 2030, almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas[1] . Goal 11.2 states that “By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons”.[2]


Today, more than a billion children live in cities, though they are often ignored in city planning on the micro (street), mezzo (neighborhood) and macro (city) levels. Cities can be wonderful places to grow up, but they can also pose serious challenges for healthy child development – with consequences for the next generation of adults.[3]

 

'A Good City is one in which children can grow and develop to the extent of their powers; where they can build their confidence and become actively engaged in the world; yet be autonomous and capable of managing their own affairs.'
Kevin Lynch, Growing Up in Cities (1977)

 

 

The Child within the environment
The Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) has identified the critical need to focus on the child within the environments where they live and grow. This need sparked the development of the Urban95 strategy. Urban95 aims to work with urban planners, architects, engineers and city managers to incorporate a focus on early childhood development in the planning and management of cities.

For decades the interest in the effects of environments on children during their development was limited to the family and service/institution level. The whole range of informal influences has been neglected. Urban95 pilots and scales-up innovations in the following focus areas[4]:

  • Public space - This involves transforming existing physical spaces into places for young children to play and explore nature, and for their caregivers to meet and rest.
  • Mobility - Making it possible for caregivers and young children to walk or cycle to healthcare, childcare, a safe place to play, and a source of healthy food.
  • Data management - Collecting neighborhood-level data on young children and caregivers and using it to better target resources and facilitate coordination across sectors
  • Parent coaching - Providing parents and other caregivers with information on early childhood development through the existing or new services and structures.

The basis for this webinar
During the implementation of different projects many lessons have been learned. In this webinar we will focus on how to build a case for improving the conditions in which children grow and mobilize different actors on different levels of the system to get involved.

As a framework for addressing different actors and different levels of the system we would like to use the conceptual framework of The Kids in Communities Study.[5] 

 

During the webinar, the following issues will be addressed:

  • How can awareness around the problem of environments and its effect on young children be raised?
  • Who are the key stakeholders/players? Who are the best allies[6] at different levels of the system and how to mobilize them?
  • What are the main achievements and the main challenges in mobilizing and retaining representatives at different levels of the system?

As a framework for addressing different actors and different levels of the system we would like to use the conceptual framework of The Kids in Communities Study.

You can listen to the webinar recording here, and download the webinar presentation here.

 

Would you like to learn even more about this topic?
The topic of this webinar will be explored more in-depth during a pre-conference workshop this June at the ISSA Conference 2019 You can learn more about the workshop, Cities for the Youngest Residents - Practical Solutions for Nurturing Environmentshere.


If you are interested in further reading, BvLF has loads of resources on this topic. Consider reading some of these resources before the webinar:

  1. Project in Tirana: https://apolitical.co/solution_article/communist-rule-city-children-transformation-tirana/
  2. Project in Thessaloniki - The city at the eye level for kids: https://bernardvanleer.org/urban95-challenge/the-city-at-eye-level-for-kids/
  3. Compendium of Best Practices of Child Friendly Cities, 2017: https://bernardvanleer.org/publications-reports/compendium-of-best-practices-of-child-friendly-cities-2017/
  4. Project In Brazil: Oasis Game in Brazil: https://bernardvanleer.org/blog/oasis-game-in-brazil-sheds-light-on-childrens-vulnerable-situation/
  5. The Kids in Communities Study: what is it about where you live that makes a difference to children’s development?, ECM, 2017 : https://bernardvanleer.org/ecm-article/2017/kids-communities-study-live-makes-difference-childrens-development/

 

 

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/

[2] http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/ in the report developed by ISSA Comparative Global Study of Urban Spaces to Support Parents - https://bernardvanleer.org/app/uploads/2018/08/Comparative-Global-Study-of-Urban-Spaces-to-Support-Parents-Final-Report.pdf

[3] An Urban95 Starter Kit – ideas for action, https://bernardvanleer.org/publications-reports/an-urban95-starter-kit-ideas-for-action/

[4] https://bernardvanleer.org/solutions/urban95/

[5] The Kids in Communities Study: what is it about where you live that makes a difference to children’s development?, ECM, 2017

https://bernardvanleer.org/ecm-article/2017/kids-communities-study-live-makes-difference-childrens-development/

[6] Stressed as a key point in BvLF webinar - https://bernardvanleer.org/news/watch-online-our-webinar-on-the-urban95-challen