The Child Friendly Cities initiative is a UN programme which is underpinned by one of my favourite treaties - the UNCRC, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
If you were curious, my other favourite treaties: the Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty of Rome, the Paris Accord, and the Geneva Convention.
Anyway, Child Friendly Cities are all about collaboration both between cities and between policy makers, academics, youth workers and, most importantly, young people. It comes from a UN resolution to make cities liveable for all - one of the promises the UN made after World War Two (UN, 2019).
So what makes a child friendly city? In short, it’s a space where children have a say in what’s going on in their lives, access to high quality support, and every child has an equal opportunity in life.
But really, it’s about more than this, it’s everything from how children’s voices are heard in the NHS, to city planning. For example, how often are communities planned around how children get around? A few months ago we visited a new school built on a tight bend that cars would speed around - hardly the community space for mini-cyclists to build their confidence.
We’re at the start of a journey to discuss what child friendly design means for Worcester, and we’d love to have a chat. Who should we be talking to (other than children)? What examples of child friendly design already exist? We don’t just mean physical space or work in the arts - we want to know about the full webbing that exists to support Worcester’s children and make it a fair space to be?