‘Echoing the voice of children in urban design’ – hear more at Child in the City Brussels 2023

Soran Mansournia, one of our parallel speakers at the forthcoming Child in the City World Conference.

In less than three weeks we will be in Brussels for our Child in the City World Conference – and what an event it promises to be.

We are excited to be bringing together some of the foremost global experts on all things related to children and their lives in cities across the world, and are looking forward to as many of you as possible joining us in the Belgian capital.

The theme this year is Building the Future, and already we’ve given you a taster of what is to come, with previews of our scheduled speakers, including a personal video message from Ans Persoons, Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism & Youth, plus a Q&A feature with Mona Meienberg, who leads the division of Child Friendly Community and City Development at UNICEF Switzerland and Liechenstein.

Another opening keynote will be delivered by Bruno Vanobbergen, who is Secretary-General ad interim at the Flemish Agency Opgroeien (which literally means ‘to grow up’), which works with partners across Belgium to help all aspects of childrens’ lives.

‘Foremost global experts in all things children-related’

His keynote is scheduled for the opening day of our conference, on Monday 20 November from 10:00 to 10:30. The conference finishes on the afternoon of Wednesday 22 November.

Do you follow us on LinkedIn? If not then now is the perfect time to seek us out on the professionals’ platform, as we have some special video messages from some of our scheduled speakers, as well as a few of our dedicated Child in the City personnel, who are working hard to prepare for our flagship event.

One of those due to speak at the conference is Soran Mansournia (main photo), who is from Iranian Kurdistan. Holding a master’s degree in urban design from Tehran University of Art, he is a joint PhD student in spatial science, affiliated with the University of Groningen in The Netherlands and the University of Otago in New Zealand.

His project, he says, ‘has a simple, yet powerful goal – echoing the voice of children in the process of urban design’.

‘This is about more than just play’

“For this goal, I have developed a fun digital platform called Playscape-mapper – it lets children interact with the map of their hometown,” he says. But this is about more than just play, adds Soran. “With Playscape-mapper, children can share their favourites in the city and their daily routines with urban planners.”

In a way, he adds, Playscape-mapper acts as a bridge between urban professionals and these young citizens. “Right now, I’m putting my Playscape-mapper into testing in seven case studies across five different countries: The Netherlands, Iran, New Zealand, Poland and Kurdistan region in Iraq.”

And it’s the results of his Kurdish case study from the cities of Sine and Sanandaj that Soran will be presenting at the Child in the City World Conference, entitled ‘Playscape-mapper, a PPGIS-method’.

Soran will be presenting as part of Parallel Session 1.1, on Monday 20 November from 11:30 to 13:00.

  • Will you be at the Child in the City World Conference? There is still time to book your place. Visit our website for all the information you need, including dates and times of sessions, speakers, field trips, practical information on the venue and, of course, how to book your place.

Author: Simon Weedy

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