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Share good practice at Child in the City World Conference 2018

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Not only content with being universally recognised as the city of music, Vienna will also this year become the city of children.

As host of Child in the City World Conference 2018, Austria’s capital will welcome this bi-annual global gathering some of the world’s leading children’s rights experts and champions. It will provide a platform for sharing of best practice, research and knowledge – knowledge that can help deliver the shared aim of creating child-friendly cities everywhere.

CiTC 2018 is all about dialogue. Only by talking can child professionals, city planners and policymakers from across all disciplines deliver the changes needed to make cities all they can and should be for children. Designed with the three key pillars of science, policy (cities/communities) and community in mind, CiTC 2018 has something for everyone.

Exchanging ideas

It’s learning about best practice, exchanging ideas on how to turn policy theory into reality, and ultimately being part of a global community which knows – and more importantly cares – about the challenges.

Around 500 visitors will hear more than 100 speakers share some of their insights through a mixture of keynote speeches, presentations, workshops and professional networking. There will also be a poster presentation and several field trips.

Keynote speaker

Vienna City Hall hosts the event from September 24-26,  and there are four key themes for 2018: Children’s rights in urban development and regeneration; Children & young people and media; Equality and diversity in the child-friendly city; Mobility and access to the child-friendly city.

One notable keynote presentation is from Tim Gill, a leading independent consultant, writer and advocate on children’s issues. Gill’s main focus is the changing nature of children’s play and free time, and their evolving relationships with the people and places around them. Widely published, he also regularly appears on television and radio.

Lessons to learn

He will speak on day two about how to build the case for child-friendly cities, and in particular which lessons can be learned from examples in Europe and Canada. Questions he poses include: What does a truly child-friendly city look like? Why should policymakers be interested in seeing cities through children’s eyes? Gill will share some of the findings of his study of child-friendly urban planning in Europe and Canada. His argument is that the child as an ‘indicator species’ for cities can unite play advocates and policymakers around the shared goals of expanding a child’s everyday freedoms.

First held in Bruge in 2002, Child in the City World Conference has been held in cities including Stuttgart, London, Florence, Zagreb, Odense, and last year Rotterdam. It’s the brainchild of Johan Haarhuis, Chairman of the Child in the City Foundation, a non-profit body dedicated to promoting the rights and wellbeing of children throughout Europe and beyond. It provides high quality platforms – news, blogs, interviews, papers, opinions, conferences and events – for those working to develop good practice in the creation of genuinely child-friendly cities. This bi-annual showcase brings it all together.

‘Created an environment’

“From the outset, my desire was to see Child in the City World Conference become one of the most important child-focused events in the calendar,” said Haarhuis. “The aim has always been to help champion the rights of children living in cities and the urban world, and through the work of the foundation we have created an environment where child professionals across all disciplines – be it health, participation, mobility, poverty, play or education – can share with each other what they have done, so that good practice can be implemented globally.

“Hundreds of participants from over 30 countries have participated previously and we expect to exceed these numbers in Vienna. As one regular participant said, ‘there is no event in the world to equal Child in the City where those involved with children’s wellbeing in cities are brought together in such an inspiring way’.  


“I am as passionate today about our work as I was when Child in the City was first launched, and am very proud of what we have achieved. We are very excited to be bringing Child in the City World Conference to Vienna, and look forward to it being a great success,” he added.

For more information visit the website where you can register to attend.

Author: Simon Weedy

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