Photo: The Base Youth Project (via

Counting down to the 10th Child in the City World Conference

Photo: The Base Youth Project (via

Summer holidays are not yet over but we’re busy preparing for our autumn flagship event for 2022 – the 10th Child in the City World Conference in Dublin.

Making Connections will be a key opportunity for all of you child professionals, municipal policymakers, city planners, academics, urban designers, social workers, teachers, and many more, to get together and share ideas and solutions for making our cities truly child-friendly.

From 5-7 October, we will be hearing about your knowledge, seeing examples of your good practice in action and delving into your research findings from all of the diverse disciplines that are vital to our shared aim of ensuring cities and towns are what they need to be for children and young people.

‘How can we protect our children from past mistakes?’

The 10th Child in the City World Conference 2022 is called Making Connections for two key but interlinking reasons; we look to make connections not only between children and the cities where they live, but also connections between different disciplines and professionals.

Our conference, to be held in the wonderful Dublin Castle, will focus on these five specific themes:

Connecting the present with the past: Many people continue to insist that ‘everything used to be better’. OK, so there was less traffic and children played outdoors much more. But what else can we learn from previous generations of youngsters? What about poverty and inequality? What was it like to have an ‘urban’ childhood? What has changed and, crucially, why? And how can we protect our children from society’s past mistakes? Keynote speaker Carol Barron will introduce this first theme with a presentation on Irish childhoods of the past

Connecting green and play: Making cities greener places to play is a step to not only bringing nature to the urban jungle, but also making cities more ‘playful’. But this can only be done through successful partnership working between professionals from social and physical disciplines. How can we then profit from the ‘greening’ of cities in ways that connect or reconnect children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds? Helen Woolley will tell us more

Connecting children’s (mental) health and play: Children’s health is a big issue nowadays and health problems are very much class related. Our aim is to focus not only on physical issues such as obesity, but also on the mental side, to reflect what has been a steady increase of problems, particularly in teenagers. What is the influence of the residential environment on young people’s health and what are the possible benefits of (outdoor) play to grow up in more healthy ways?

Connecting children’s participation to urban policies: Cities everywhere are developing policies to ensure that the voices of children are being heard. Many projects are dedicated to helping young people get involved in creating sustainable futures. So what attitudes and framework conditions are important to helping ensure these goals can be achieved?  And how do we support children to bring forward their ideas about the improvement of everyday life? This theme will be introduced by keynote speaker Carlo Fabian.

Re-connecting children to society after COVID-19: The seismic events of the past two years have affected us all. During the pandemic children suffered enormously from social isolation, health problems, loss of education, domestic abuse, closed play facilities, and much more. International research shows that equalities that existed before the pandemic have only got worse. So how can we prevent feelings of ‘disengagement’ among the young? How did digital technology help – or hinder for those without reliable internet connections – children during the lockdowns, and how can we use technology to repair these broken connections? Stephane Chaudron will share some of the lessons learned from the KiDiCoTi study.

‘An inspirational programme’

Over the three days there will be an inspirational programme of presentations from over 100 speakers on children’s issues, along with interactive parallel sessions and thought-provoking field trips to related projects throughout the city.

And all of this in and around the beautiful city of Dublin, which is hosting our tenth anniversary event thanks to the participation of Dublin City Council, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, and of course, the Child in the City Foundation and its Scientific Programme Committee, which has put together the programme.

We will be publishing regular news, features and interviews about Dublin 2022, but you can already secure your spot for October by registering to attend.

Follow our updates on the website and also on Twitter @Childinthecity1 or under the hashtag #childinthecitydublin2022

Author: Simon Weedy

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