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

Author: Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International

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 you to concepts, frameworks, ideas for action and toolkits and guidance for improving cities for and with children, all supported by Cities4Children Global Alliance members. 

1. Better cities for the youngest children and their caregivers 

The Urban Landscapes of Care course is part of the Urban95 initiative supported by the Van Leer Foundation. The Urban 95 approach focuses on children aged 0-5 and asks ‘if you could view the city from 95cm.. what would you change?’ In this course you will learn about the challenges and needs of young children in cities. You will also learn about different design and implementation strategies to develop child and caregiver friendly public spaces in your city. The course is developed by Intuylab incollaboration with TU Berlin and Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. 

This video describes the Urban Landscapes of Care Massive Open Online Course focusing on child and caregiver friendly public spaces 

Course structure and duration: The full course will take you approximately 25 to 30 hours. It is divided into 7 learning modules, each to be done in one week in 2-4 lessons. Each lesson is 30 to 90 minutes long and each module takes 2 to 4 hours to complete. You will receive an official certificate once you complete the course and satisfy the minimum requirements. 

Target audience: The course is aimed at college-level students in the built-environment field. It is also useful for professionals working in urban design, planning and development interested in making cities better for young children and their caregivers.  

Access details: You can sign up here to access the course. Content is available in English and Spanish. Expect a response in two weeks as requests are reviewed every other week by the learning platform. 

If you are a city official, you can also apply to the Urban95 Academy, an initiative of the Van leer Foundation and LSE Cities.

2. YOURS Academy by Youth for Road Safety (YOURS) 

Did you know that road traffic incidents are the number one cause of death for children and young people aged between 5 and 29? The YOURS Academy online learning platform is designed to empower young leaders to become stronger road safety and sustainable mobility advocates. Through an interactive platform, YOURS equips learners with the tools, knowledge and support needed to influence the reduction of road traffic crashes and injuries in their areas.

The platform offers a multi-award-winning online learning approach, where every session is carefully curated and designed to ensure immediate learning outcomes and capture the users’ experience on the worlds’ roads. 

Five road safety modules offered by YOURS Academy

Course structure and duration: The course takes between 2 to 4 hours to complete, but time can vary depending on your learning pace. It has five modules which provide learners with the information, motivation, resources, and skills needed to become road safety leaders and advocates. Modules include short videos, quizzes, and games designed to be interactive and engaging for a young audience. You will receive a certificate once you complete the course. 

The content is based on evidence; it has been reviewed by young leaders and expert practitioners at organisations such as UNICEF, FIA Foundation, and the World Health Organization. The learning platform is built from a decade of global experience of in-person training. 

 Target audience: The course is aimed at young road safety leaders and is also useful for civil society organisations and city departments looking to promote road safety and sustainable mobility with a meaningful youth engagement approach. 

 Access details: You can enrol at the academy by following this link. The YOURS Academy content is available in English for now but will soon be available in other languages.  

3. Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) Online Course 

Did you know that every day, over 500 children worldwide die in road traffic crashes, and most of these incidents occur near schools? It’s one reason why many school communities and city authorities across the globe are implementing strategies to make school streets safer 

Contributing to this effort, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) has developed the Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) tool for measuring, managing, and communicating the risk children are exposed to on a journey to school to support quick interventions that save lives and prevent serious injuries from day one. The course is supported by FedEx, FIA Foundation, 3M and Prudence Foundation. 

Step-by-step process for using Star Rating for Schools

Course structure and duration: The course has three main modules with 15 short videos and assignments and reading materials and takes 6-8 hours to complete. You will receive a certificate of course completion when you finish. There is also a dedicated online platform to understand how to incorporate the tool into safe school zone programmes  and learn from case studies and other useful resources. 

Target audience: SR4S can be used by a broad range of stakeholders including local communities, government authorities, road and transport authorities, school communities and civil society organisations.  

Access details: The course is free and available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese. It will also be available in Bahasa Indonesia in April 2024. You can sign up for the course here. 

About the Author 

This blog was written by the Urban Hub Team at Save the Children International with cooperation from Cities4Children member organisations and those supporting online courses featured in this blog – Van Leer Foundation, YOURS Academy and iRAP. 


The Ideas4Action series aims to inspire with ideas that have worked in other cities and countries so that you too, can take action in your own city. Read more of our blogs here. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. When re-sharing this content please ensure accreditation by adding the following sentence: ‘This blog was first published by the Global Alliance – Cities4Children (www.cities4children.org/blog)