Child Friendly Cities Initiative USA looks to add Boulder to its community

Boulder, Colorado, is the latest U.S. city to put in motion plans for being formally recognised as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.

Municipal leaders are working with both UNICEF and Growing Up Boulder, a local non-profit collaboration dedicated to improving children’s lives, to attain what is becoming a much-cherished status on the world map.

The goal of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI), which is active across the world, is to identify and prioritise action steps, while also mobilising the community to improve young people’s health and well-being.

Leaders in Boulder say that this work will be co-designed with young people, including ‘historically underrepresented’ children and youth. Click here to watch a launch video created by members of the city’s Youth Opportunities Advisory Board.

Youth engagement and participation has been at the core of Growing Up Boulder’s work for the past 13 years while the city’s Youth Opportunities Advisory Board (YOAB) involves teens voices in city planning. The structural support from the UNICEF CFCI Framework for Action complements this already existing work.

‘Mobilising the community to help young people’

Specifically, it brings city departments together to align efforts and deepen relationships with populations that experience structural and systemic inequities. Becoming an official UNICEF Child Friendly City would allow Boulder to be formally recognized for its work and elevate its impact to the next level.

A city’s commitment to children doesn’t end once it is recognised as a UNICEF Child Friendly City; instead, it continues to build upon the action plans that were created through the process to advance young people’s well-being.

Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde, City Manager, said.“I am so excited to start this work with such amazing partners. So much of what we do as a city impacts young people, both now and as they grow into adulthood. There is tremendous power in hearing from them and ensuring we are meeting their needs.”

A task force of partner organisations and young people dedicated to the well-being of children and youth in the city will be set up to advise on the process, analyse what is needed and help develop a city-wide action plan.

The implementation phase will be funded at least in part by approximately $2 million the city has been allocated from the sale of the stadium of the Denver Broncos football team, money which must be used to support youth activities.

After a year of successful implementation efforts, the city will receive formal recognition from UNICEF USA and undergo an independent evaluation to become an official UNICEF Child Friendly City.

Click here to visit the Boulder CFCI website, and here for more on the CFCI in the U.S.

Author: Simon Weedy

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