Child in the City International Seminar 'Children's Play in the Urban Environment'


Welcome to this Child in the City International Seminar!

Adrian Voce OBE
President, European Network for Child Friendly Cities

Welcome to the second Child in the City International Seminar, on Children’s Play in the Urban Environment, which will be at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, on 6-7 November 2017.

Child in the City International Seminars is a rolling programme of focused events, each bringing together practitioners, researchers and policymakers from different relevant fields around a specific theme of the child-friendly city agenda.

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The theme for the two-day seminar in London on 6-7 November 2017 will be:

Theme: Children’s play in the urban environment

The international seminar will bring together children’s professionals, play workers, city planners, landscape architects, geographers and policymakers, along with researchers, academics and advocates.

Host and partners

Main theme

With the seemingly ever-growing dominance of traffic and commerce, increasing urban populations, economic pressures on public space, and austerity policies leading to the closure of many playgrounds and youth clubs, it has never been harder for children and young people in the modern city to find somewhere to play or meet with their friends.

The outside world of the urban landscape is widely considered unsafe for younger children while teenagers themselves are often viewed as a threat to public order. Yet the freedom to enjoy their own play and recreation, to participate with their peers in the cultural and social life of their neighbourhoods, towns and cities is a human right for all children and young people, recognised in international law.

This second Child in the City international seminar will look at some of the latest research on children’s play and young people’s culture in the modern city and its relationship to health and wellbeing trends.

The seminar will consider policy options and explore good practice examples –through presentations from around the world and field trips to projects in London – on how different cities are addressing this most quintessential of children’s rights: to grow up in a community that recognises and supports their need to play and be with their friends – without adult pressure or agendas, but within shared, intergenerational urban landscapes that allow the whole community to thrive.

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About Child in the City

The main objective of the Child in the City Foundation is to strengthen the position of children in cities.

Johan Haarhuis
Founder Child in the City Foundation

Child in the City is a joint project of the European Network Child Friendly Cities (ENCFC) and the Child in the City Foundation. The main objectives of both the Child in the City Foundation and the ENCFC is to strengthen the position of children in cities, promote and protect their rights and give them space and opportunities to play and enjoy their own social and cultural lives.

We do this by providing communications platforms for academics, practitioners and campaigners for children’s rights to disseminate research and good practice. One of the most important of these is the biennial international conference where scientists, urban planners and local authorities are brought together to share the latest knowledge.

European Network Child Friendly Cities (ENCFC)
The European network observes 5 general guidelines and encourages national and local networks to translate these into specific local policies addressing local points of focus. The general guidelines are: an holistic, integral and intergenerational approach; the importance of participation for children and young people; and dynamic trade and continuous challenge.

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