CC Flickr: Catherine Shyu

‘Step into the shoes of children to know their needs’, says China

Youngsters in China have given national and city leaders food for thought with their diverse ideas for what child-friendly cities should look like.

The Chinese government has offered the wider world a rare insight into the thoughts of young people, by revealing the responses given to a survey asking children what their ‘dream city’ looks like.

‘One needs to get into a child’s shoes to understand how they perceive things’ – that was the message from the authorities following the survey, held to to mark International Children’s Day (1 June in China),

‘I hope the road near the kindergarten gates is beautiful like a rainbow’; ‘Minty toothpaste is so fiery – can’t they make new ones that suit us?’; and ‘Bookshelves in libraries are too high for us to reach’, – these are some of the creative responses children gave, reports the state-controlled China Daily newspaper.

“Children are the hope and the future of every family, as well as nation, and cultivating a child-friendly society is of utmost importance,” says the government, which points to its Five-Year Plan (2021-25) as having ‘rightfully raised the level of caring for juveniles’.

‘It does not take much to make things child-friendly’

The China Children’s Development Plan (2021-30) has also, it adds, raised the goal of building child-friendly cities and communities and ‘seeing the world at one-meter level’, which is the average height of children.

“From that height, one can see so many things that can be improved for a child. Surely, toothpastes can be made less minty, or fiery; bookshelves in children’s libraries should be low enough for children to easily reach the books; roads in front of schools could be one-way lanes to ensure safety.

“It does not take too much to make things child-friendly. It just requires more inclusive policies, more friendly services and more caring hearts. For example, babycare institutions are needed in communities so that babies get cared for when their parents are at work. There should be subsidies for children with disabilities to help them grow healthily,” adds the government.

Author: Simon Weedy

Add your comment

characters remaining.

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