Cities4Children Blog

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

Putting local communities at the center of public space making in informal settlements

Public Space

Cities4Children, February 7, 2023, 7 min

The Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) collaborates with local community groups to transform underutilized risk-prone spaces in Kibera into a resilient and productive network of public spaces. This network of public spaces – comprising toilets, multipurpose halls, micro-enterprises, laundry facilities, play spaces, vegetable gardens, and schools – builds physical, social and economic resilience in informal communities Read more →

Ask an Expert: Cecilia Vaca Jones – “If you could see the city from 95cm – the height of a healthy three-year-old child – what would you change?”

Cecilia Vaca Jones Urban95 blog
Inclusive Urban PlanningAsk An Expert

Cecilia Vaca Jones, January 10, 2023, 10 min

In our latest Ask an Expert Series blog, we speak with Cecilia Vaca Jones. Cecilia has over 20 years of experience leading public and private-sector organisations to promote and enable child-responsive policies and programmes at national and global levels. In this interview, Cecilia shares her insights on leading the Bernard van Leer Foundation from 2019 Read more →

Pedestrian Space: How one person’s passion for walkable cities became a global conversation

Pedestrian Space: How one person’s passion for walkable cities became a global conversation
MobilityConversations about Cities

Annika Lundkvist , December 14, 2022, 7 min

Pedestrian Space is a media and advocacy platform that celebrates and promotes walkability in cities. In the last two years, Pedestrian Space has grown exponentially. We spoke with the founder Annika Lundkvist to find out more about her journey, why she feels pedestrian solutions are so critical, and how one person can generate content at Read more →

“The future I want for my child”: how climate action can transform children’s health in cities

ClimateIdeas4Action

Nzisa Kioko and Sarah Sharpe, November 10, 2022, 7 min

Parents in Nairobi tell their stories about how climate change and air pollution are affecting the health of their children – and share their vision for a healthier, cleaner future. Children are particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change, including the effects of heat and air pollution. African cities, including Nairobi, are facing Read more →

Putting children and families at the heart of cycling programmes in Latin American cities

BYCS COP27
Climate

Lucas Snaije, November 8, 2022, 7 min

Cycling supports climate-friendly cities and the well-being of children and families in many ways, from improving air quality and health to increasing road safety. In the run-up to COP27, Lucas Snaije of BYCS, an Amsterdam-based global NGO supporting community-led urban change through cycling, discusses how programmes to support uptake in Latin America offer strong evidence Read more →

Ask an Expert Omnia El Omrani – “We want to amplify youth-led climate solutions so youth can attract strategic partners to scale up their work.”

Ask an expert Omnia youth cop27 climate change
ClimateAsk An Expert

Cities4Children, November 3, 2022, 8 min

In the lead up to this year’s 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt, we spoke with Omnia El Omrani, the official Youth Envoy for COP27. Youth across the world play a tremendous role in energising and elevating the climate movement. Here, Omnia explains her role as Youth Envoy and how children and youth Read more →

Ask an Expert: David Satterthwaite – “I’d invite politicians and aid agency staff to walk with SDI affiliates through slums”

Informal SettlementsAsk An Expert

David Satterthwaite, October 31, 2022, 9 min

In the latest from our Ask an Expert series, we sit down with David Satterthwaite to hear more about his vast years of experience in the urban and environment space. David’s impressive research and writing has been cited more than 32,000 times.   We would love to hear about your journey into urban planning and poverty Read more →

Urban upgrading supports early childhood care spaces in informal settlements

Urban upgrading supports early childhood care spaces in informal settlements cover
Early childhoodIdeas4Action

James Clacherty, October 25, 2022, 6 min

Emthonjenis are open-air learning spaces located around communal water taps in informal settlements in Cape Town, South Africa. They offer a safe space for children to access out-of-centre Early Childhood Development (ECD) services. We interviewed Phethang Mabeba, the ECD lead from Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU), to learn more about their model for combining Read more →

Rethinking children’s participation: the underappreciated role of adult catalysts

Tim Gill child participation Adult Catalist blog
Child ParticipationIdeas4Action

Tim Gill, October 11, 2022, 6 min

In his latest blog Tim Gill describes why adult catalysts are necessary for enabling child-friendly urban environments and argues that municipal champions who understand children’s views and needs have a key role in building ambitious programmes.   Whenever children pretty much anywhere in the world are asked what they like and dislike about where they Read more →

Lessons from more than 1000 school streets

FIA Lessons from more than 1000 school streets
MobilityIdeas4Action

Richard Clarke, September 28, 2022, 10 min

‘Nothing seems to change until suddenly it does,’ writes Duncan Green in his book How Change Happens. The exponential growth of school streets over the past five years powerfully illustrates how urban change can sometimes be non-linear and transformational. What are school streets? School streets are vehicle-free areas outside schools (or vehicles have severely restricted access). Read more →

More than just playgrounds: four ways to improve neighbourhoods for the very young

More than just playgrounds blog cover WRI India
Early childhoodIdeas4Action

Kunal Kumar, Rushda Majeed, and Sree Kumar Kumaraswamy, September 13, 2022, 6 min

Child-centric urban planning is about more than just building playgrounds. Here, Kunal Kumar, Rushda Majeed and Sree Kumar Kumaraswamy outline four ways to make neighbourhoods better for very young children, from creating dedicated spaces for play to improving early childhood care centres. The 10 winning cities of the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge were announced by the Read more →

Ask an Expert: Sudeshna Chatterjee – “We need to invest in inclusive planning processes before jumping to solutions”

Ask an Expert Sudeshna Chatterjee
Inclusive Urban PlanningAsk An Expert

Sudeshna Chatterjee, September 6, 2022, 13 min

In our latest from our Ask an Expert series, we speak with Sudeshna Chatterjee, a globally recognised urban practitioner and researcher about what it takes to enable inclusive, resilient and child-sensitive urbanisation in low-and middle-income countries. Can you describe your journey into children’s environments? I grew up in Kolkata in India, in a neighbourhood with Read more →