Leadership programme helps local leaders ‘reimagine’ cities for children

Children walking in Oslo

How can cities be ‘reimagined’ for the needs of children? That’s the aim of the Urban95 Academy, a new municipal leadership programme from LSE Cities and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Open to local authority leaders across the world, the programme aims to help municipalities understand how their work impacts early childhood development. Organisers say the academy will be built on three pillars: vision and analysis; strategy and delivery; and leadership.

Participants will learn how they can effectively deliver policies and services for everyone by reimagining the urban realm with babies, toddlers, and caregivers at the centre.

Six weeks of online course content will be provided, alongside virtual live sessions with the LSE faculty (part of the London School of Economics), Bernard van Leer Foundation leadership and global knowledge partners. It includes original content from interdisciplinary knowledge partners including Arup (architectural firm), the Brookings Institution (non-profit body), Clean Air Fund, Ghel (urban designers), ITDP (transport non-governmental organisation), the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and Princeton University’s Innovation for Successful Societies Program.

‘Babies, toddlers and caregivers at the centre’

Through the programme, all participants will prepare a strategy outline for their city, and those with the most promising ideas for making their cities better for young children will be invited to attend a sponsored week-long in-person training session at LSE in London. The Urban95 Academy will provide training to 120 cities in three separate cohorts throughout 2022 with rolling applications accepted until July 2022. Participation will be fully funded by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation.

Dr Savvas Verdis,a Senior Research Fellow at LSE Cities said: “One of the great opportunities of the Urban95 Academy is to rethink cities from the perspective of babies, toddlers and their caregivers, asking the very simple question: what would cities look like if they were designed from 95 centimetres, the height of a healthy 3-year-old?”

Click here for more information or to register interest,

Author: Simon Weedy

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