Date change for Child in the City webinar

The forthcoming Child in the City webinar that will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on children and families has been moved back a week.

September 22 is the new date that should be in your diaries for what will be our first webinar, featuring several highly experienced experts in the field of child studies.

Making connections in the time of COVID-19 seems to be more difficult than ever. We have all been  isolated in our homes, combining work and personal, career and care, and teaching and play. But what do we know about the significance of this crisis to families and children? 

That will be the central question for an online audience of child studies’ experts who we hope are able to join us for this exciting initiative, made necessary by the global pandemic which has affected the lives of everyone.

The webinar, which will take place on Tuesday 22 September and NOT 14, between 14:00 and 16:00 Central European Time, will focus on three diverse topics through our three key presenters. They are:

  • Play: Tim Gill, independent researcher and consultant for Rethinking Childhood, UK
  • Health: Jon Sigfusson, Director, Planet Youth, Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis, Iceland
  • Urban Planning: Helen Jarvis PhD, reader in urban social geography at Newcastle University, UK.

The webinar replaces what would have been the Child in the City conference that was due to take place in Dublin, also in September. This was cancelled due to the coronavirus and has been rescheduled for 2021.

No stranger to Child in the City, Tim Gill is a global advocate for children’s outdoor play and mobility, and author of No Fear: Growing up in a risk-averse society (2007) and the forthcoming Urban Playground: How child-friendly planning and design can save cities. Tim will share the latest information about the impact of the pandemic on children, from clinical, epidemiological, social and public policy viewpoints. He will draw on emerging scientific consensus, and on international case studies of both the disease itself and the collateral damage to children from control measures such as lockdowns, and school and playground closures.

He will argue that an explicitly compensatory and health-focused strategic response is needed, with the goal of opening up space and time for outdoor play, especially for those disadvantaged children whose lives have been worst affected.

‘Connect and keep on learning’

Jón Sigfússon, of the Icelandic Model of Prevention, Planet Youth, will look at what has been done in Iceland in regard to COVID-19. The Icelandic Model is a theoretically grounded, evidence-based approach to community adolescent substance use prevention that has grown out of collaboration between policy makers, behavioral scientists, field-based practitioners and community residents in Iceland. The intervention focuses on reducing known risk factors for substance use, while strengthening a broad range of parental, school and community protective factors.

Finally, Helen Jarvis will present Connecting Urban Parenting to Urban Planning, which looks at the reworking of relational cultures of social connectedness in UK towns and cities during the COVID-19 crisis. She will reflect on civic concerns for the number of vulnerable people asking for help locally who are excluded from widely adopted communication technologies; restrictions preventing ‘household mixing’ in communities intentionally designed for mutual support between older and younger, isolated neighbours; and common-sense outcomes that can be achieved through effective group processes where established relationships offer the basis for community resilience and cohesion.

Lia Karsten, president of the Child in the City Scientific Program Committee, said: “This Corona webinar has been organised as a substitute for the Child in the City conference that was due to be held in Dublin in September, and has been postponed until September 2021. We know from many of you that you are longing to connect much earlier than this with your colleagues from all over the world, and so we advise you to participate in this webinar. Please take this opportunity to connect and to keep on learning – we look forward to seeing you online.”

Save the date: 22 September 2020, 14.00 hrs CEST
You can visit our webinar page and stay up to date via our keep me informed button.


For more information on taking part in this webinar, please contact Marieke Bouman, event manager, by email at 

Author: Simon Weedy

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.