‘Green spaces for children in developing countries’ – get involved

Access to natural, green space makes a huge difference to the lives of children living in high-rise apartments. Inna Ska/Shutterstock

Children’s charity UNICEF needs your experiences and case studies on the effect of green space on children in developing countries for a workshop later this year.

The ‘call for papers’ aims to include presentations from anyone professionally involved in green space development, including academics, UNICEF practitioners and other stakeholders, to share their work and provide insights and ideas that can be adopted.

In its discussion paper, The Necessity of Urban Green Space for Children’s Optimal Development, UNICEF says that while green space is accessible and safe for children’s play can be rare, especially in the cities of the developing world, the ‘scientifically proven advantages to children’s physical, mental and social development, provided by such spaces, are real and multifold’.

Increasing safe and accessible green spaces, it adds, ‘not only directly benefits a child’s holistic development, it has also been shown to convey a host of significant health benefits for adults and economic and environmental benefits to cities such as lower health care costs, reduced levels of violence and crime and flood protection’.

‘The evidence is compelling’

Within the context of these and other issues raised, the UNICEF International Workshop: Evidence and Action for Green Space for Children in Developing Countries, will take place remotely, over two 3-hour online sessions, during the week beginning 17 October.

UNICEF says: “The evidence on the advantages of preservation and creation of green space is compelling. However, most of the research has been carried out in developed countries. A gap exists in research in this area from the developing world which this Call for Papers hopes to address.

“This issue is especially salient now, as lockdowns and increased anxiety caused by the COVID crisis have opened many people’s eyes to the need for safe and accessible green space for children – especially for their mental health – and the call for more green space in cities has started to gain traction.”

It is inviting submissions of abstracts or summaries of up to 300 words for consideration via this link by 7 September.

For more information email ssugar@unicef.org

Author: Simon Weedy

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