Global cities ‘accelerator’ scheme to create child-friendly municipalities

Twenty cities will come together for the first-ever Streets for Kids Leadership programme, aimed at delivering real change for children in urban areas.

The Streets for Kids Accelerator is the latest vital project organised by the Global Designing Streets Initiative (GDCI), a huge team of designers, planners and strategists committed to reimagining streets as places for people.

In March this year it put out its first call for applicants for a programme to create a new cohort of city leaders and professionals, in order to hone and share knowledge.

GDCI says it will bring together a total of 60 ‘changemakers’ from 20 cities, to take part in an eight-month virtual professional leadership programme, which will be followed by financial grants and technical support for up to 10 child-focused street projects worldwide.

Cities which applied had to put together interdisciplinary teams of three representing leaders from local government, non-profit bodies, educators and other partners supporting the needs of children in cities. Some 90 applications were officially made, demonstrating, says GDCI, ‘the global interest and need for this work’.

The successful cities are:

  1. Tirana, Albania
  2. Melbourne, Australia
  3. Recife, Brazil
  4. Santiago, Chile
  5. Bogot√°, Colombia
  6. Cuenca, Ecuador
  7. Quito, Ecuador
  8. Tbilisi, Georgia
  9. Thrissur, India
  10. Solo, Indonesia
  11. Bologna, Italy
  12. Prishtina, Kosovo
  13. Tyre, Lebanon
  14. Leon, Mexico
  15. Lima, Peru
  16. Kisumu City, Kenya
  17. Abuja, Nigeria
  18. Istanbul, Turkey
  19. Los Angeles, CA, USA
  20. Lusaka, Zambia

The cities represent six continents whose population ranges from approximately 50,000 people to over 10 million. Participants, who include Mayors, city staff, educators, and local advocates, will meet monthly to share opportunities and challenges in their cities, hear from guest speakers, and learn technical skills for creating better streets for kids worldwide. They will also be able to apply for funding for implementation projects in 2023.

Skye Duncan, Executive Director of GDCI, said: “We are thrilled to be working with such a diverse cohort of cities across the globe who share a common goal of designing streets to improve the lives of children. We believe these 60 changemakers from 20 global cities will learn from one another, share their successes and adapt best practices from the Designing Streets for Kids guidance to deliver meaningful and lasting change in their communities.”

Click here for more on Designing Streets for Kids.

Author: Simon Weedy

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