Cities4Children Blog

This is our platform for sharing insights, ideas for actions, conversations and innovations that make cities better for children and young people.

Four examples of supporting children’s play in low-income urban neighbourhoods

International Day of Play Blog

Sudeshna Chatterjee, June 11, 2024, 11 min

The International Day of Play (IDOP) on June 11th is a unifying global moment to celebrate the power of play for all children everywhere. In this first blog of a 3-part blog series, Sudeshna Chatterjee describes the importance of play for children and demonstrates how local governments, urban practitioners, NGOs and communities can collaborate to Read more →

Bicycle Mayors champion cycling-friendly and inclusive public spaces

BYCS blog cover
Inclusive MobilityPublic Space for Children

Yichen Wang, June 3, 2024, 6 min

It’s World Bicycle Day and time to celebrate pedal power! BYCS is expanding its Bicycle Mayor Network to foster more cycling-friendly cities worldwide. In this blog, Yichen Wang describes inspiring initiatives led by Bicycle Mayors worldwide, promoting cycling and inclusive public spaces. Why cycling? Cycling is one of the most inclusive, sustainable, and affordable modes Read more →

Making school streets safer for children

Road Safety

Global Designing Cities Initiative, May 28, 2024, 4 min

The Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI)  is expanding its Streets for Kids program to more cities worldwide. This blog features their work in Istanbul, León, and Lima. It showcases how low-cost, relatively quick, and creative solutions can make streets safer for children and foster social life. City streets in low-and middle-income countries are increasingly unsafe, Read more →

Lusaka, Zambia is making roads safer for children

Road SafetyIdeas4Action

Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International, May 7, 2024, 5 min

It’s Road Safety Week. We’re featuring Lusaka, Zambia, winner of the 2023 Vision Zero for Youth Award, and the impressive actions taken by the city to improve road safety for children since 2017. Road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for children and youth According to the World Health Organization, road Read more →

Catalytic public spaces: UN-Habitat’s Global Public Space Programme

Catalytic public spaces blog
Public SpaceIdeas4Action

Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International, April 9, 2024, 7 min

The third blog in our ‘Public Space for Children’ series provides an overview of UN-Habitat’s ongoing 12-year Global Public Space Programme (GPSP) with a focus on interventions, tools and guidance that make public spaces better for children. In case you missed them, the first blog of the series spotlights public space interventions by our member Read more →

Her City: Empowering girls to shape cities Her way

Urban SafetyIdeas4Action

Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International, March 8, 2024, 8 min

What can you do to make cities places where girls and young women feel safe, valued, comfortable, empowered and experience equitable access to the city? Read our 2nd blog in the Public Space for Children blog series to learn more. In case you missed it, the first blog of the series spotlights public space interventions Read more →

Three pathways towards child-friendly cities

Tim Gill blog - GDCI
Inclusive Urban PlanningIdeas4Action

Tim Gill, February 20, 2024, 9 min

With growing worldwide interest in making cities more child-friendly, what approaches can municipalities take? Tim Gill sets out three models for local governments and explores the pros and cons of each. Child-friendly urban planning and design means taking children’s needs and wishes seriously when building or changing neighbourhoods, especially their public realm. Drawing on ideas Read more →

3 courses to kickstart your learning towards Cities for Children in 2024

Inclusive Urban PlanningIdeas4Action

Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International, January 24, 2024, 6 min

Are you an activist, built-environment practitioner, caregiver, or city official, who wants to improve your city or neighbourhood for children? It’s a new year – how about starting it off by doing a course on making cities safer, cleaner and greener for children. In this article we feature three online open access courses that introduce Read more →

Making public spaces better for children: a new blog series

Public SpaceIdeas4Action

Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International, December 4, 2023, 8 min

Public spaces are crucial for children’s holistic development and wellbeing. Our new blog series showcases how public spaces can be made better for children. Using global examples from Cities4Children members and other initiatives, our aim is to spotlight ideas for action, innovation, programmes, policies and practice that make public spaces child friendly. Why are public Read more →

A Global Action Plan to transform slums and help children thrive was approved: but where is the money?

Global Action Plan Slum upgrading children
Informal SettlementsIdeas4Action

Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International, October 31, 2023, 8 min

Over 1 billion people – including close to 500 million children – live in slums and informal settlements, mostly in cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2023, the UN-Habitat Assembly approved a historic new Global Action Plan to accelerate transforming these informal settlements and slums. This plan aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 11 Read more →

Shifting Power to Youth in Urban Programming


Andy Nilsen, September 13, 2023, 10 min

Andy Nilsen is the creator and Global Director of Shift, an innovative campaign accelerator model aimed at young activists aged 14-25, housed within Save the Children. In this piece, Nilsen delves into the origins of Shift and showcases standout urban campaigns from across the world, all nurtured by Shift. One Sunday morning, looking down from Read more →

Urban heat and children: What’s at stake and how can cities do better?

Urban Heat and Children

Cities4Children, July 25, 2023, 9 min

The world is getting warmer. That much is clear. Recent reports highlight that 2023 is likely to be the hottest year on record, with heatwaves and extreme heat affecting people globally. Extreme heat is a genuine threat to life and impacts the vulnerable – the very young and the elderly – most of all. A Read more →