Call for abstracts is open now!

About Us

About Child in the City

Child in the City is an independent not-for-profit foundation based in The Netherlands which was started in 2002 by Jan van Gils ( Belgium) and Johan Haarhuis ( the Netherlands). The main objective of the Child in the City Foundation is to strengthen the position of children in cities, to promote and protect their rights, to connect professionals around these shared objectives and to give a platform for the exchange of research results and good practices directed at the creation of child-friendly cities.

We do this by organising local seminars and world conferences where the communities of interest (academics, practitioners, policy makers, designers and campaigners for children’s rights) can meet and inspire each other by disseminating promising research and good practices for the creation of genuinely child-friendly cities. The foundation stimulates local, national and international networks to present their findings at our platform meetings and in doing so to follow an holistic, interdisciplinary and intergenerational approach. In this approach the importance of children’s and young peoples participation and engagement is considered to be a matter of course.

Besides our seminars (approximately once a year) and conferences ( approximately once every two years) we send out a newsletter and are represented on social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.


The Child in the City Foundation is based in the Netherlands. The board consists of five members who act as professional volunteers. The board is responsible for the long term of all activities and events. It is taking care of the continuities of activities. The foundation is the first responsible in making agreements with cities. As a foundation we don’t make profit and if necessary we reach out for subsidies and sponsoring in order to make events possible. For each event the foundation makes an agreement with the event manager that is hired to organise events in practical, organisational and financial ways. Over the last decades the event manager of Child in the City has been Promedia. The board is supported by a group of international professionals, the Scientific Program Committee (SPC), that is primarily focused on the quality of the content of the international seminars and conferences. Meet the members of the Child in the City Board here.

The Scientific Program Committee

The Child in the City Foundation organises seminars and conferences together with local officials and politicians and the members of the SPC. The SPC is primarily responsible for the choice of the themes discussed during the events, the speakers program, the panels, the workshops and the field trips. It does so by initiating highly relevant topics, by inviting expert keynote speakers and by reviewing submitted abstracts. The members of the SPC are present during seminars and conferences and can be approached by participants to discuss lectures, presentations and eventually new initiatives for future meetings. The SPC has an international board of professionals presided by Lia Karsten. Members are rooted in different countries and have different disciplinary backgrounds. Meet the members of the Child in the City Scientific Program Committee here.

Child in the City Conferences and Seminars

The Foundation organises bi-annual conferences and regular seminars in different cities.
The conferences and seminars are organized to enable social scientists, researchers, practitioners, politicians and city planners from all over the world to share their thoughts and develop new ideas to meet the needs of children in modern cities. Host cities have included Bruges, Stuttgart, London, Rotterdam, Florence, Zagreb and Odense, Vienna, Antwerp and Leeds. Find a full overview here

The conferences are high-profile events, with previous attendance by political figures such as the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, the Danish Royal Princess Mary and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.


The Child in the City Foundation wants to develop towards an organisation that puts sustainability goals high on the agenda. Sustainable ways of organising seminars and conferences are a big challenge that can only be met in cooperation with the cities we work with. One of the selection criteria for cooperation is thus that cities are willing to contribute to our sustainability goals.

Together we strive after:

  • Minimising (better: no) information on paper.
  • Re-using banners and name cards (CitC Foundation can/will provide in multiple-use banners; host city can attach their own communication onto it).
  • Conference locations that are good to reach with public transport: provide upfront (free?) tickets for the convenience of the participants.
  • Publishing on the CitC website how to reach the location with public transport.
  • Local use of electric travel (excursions) where possible (bikes?).
  • Inviting participants to walk or bike.
  • Healthy lunches and dinners with vegetarian meals as (first) option.
  • Preventing food spilling by using small portions and smaller buffets: “less is more”.
  • Preventing the use of plastics during the meals.
  • Supplying of water taps that can be used to refill reusable bottles (e.g. doppers that participants are supposed to bring themselves).No plastic water bottles.
  • Recommending hotels that work in sustainable ways.
  • Not offering useless presents, gadgets, commercial flyers, booklet, paper notepads etc for participants.
  • Providing a social return paragraph and cooperate with other foundations for personnel, re-use of materials etc etc.

This list is not limited and is supposed to grow in the future. Suggestions? Don’t hesitate to tell us!

Apply as Host City!

Does your city want to share and brand its child friendly initiatives, policies and projects with professionals from all over the world? Does your city want to become a learning organisation on how to develop knowledge and measures that support children?

Apply for Host City and welcome 300+ delegates (conference) or 120+ delegates (seminar) from all over the world in your city! Because we are aware of the environmental impact of international meetings we want to work with you to reduce our foot print as low as possible.

Why become a Host City?

  • Opportunity to become a learning organisation on how to develop knowledge and measures that support children.
  • Opportunity to create an enthusiastic ambiance within your city on how to implement child-friendly measures.
  • Welcome 300+ delegates (conference) and 120+ delegates (seminar) from all over the world in your city.
  • Opportunity to brand your city and to share your cities’ child friendly initiatives, policies and projects.
  • Opportunity for your city to maintain and attract new partners locally and internationally.
  • Increase in spending by delegates within the local economy through hotel rooms, meals and tourist activities.
  • Be part of a wide media campaign to promote the event in your city via the website, newsletters, mailings and social media.

How to apply
You can contact us by downloading the brochure here. Or contact directly our chair: Hans Migchielsen


To get you connected in the times between the events we have developed our bi-weekly newsletter. Keep yourself informed about a broad range of topics related to the child friendly city movement. Our editor Simon Weedy is responsible for the regular newsletters, selecting articles informing about research or developments of interest worldwide. Have you yourself something to share? Simon can be contacted by email: We store all the articles published. Click to find out more about :


Event Manager

From the start of the foundation events have been organised by our event manager ProMedia.
ProMedia is a multimedia organisation with broad experience with the organisation of international conferences. As the service provider of Child in the City ProMedia is responsible for:

  • Editing and mailing the newsletters
  • Mailing the call for papers and collecting the abstracts
  • Advising on the structure of the speaker’s program/ parallel sessions
  • All further mailings
  • PR and communication
  • Registrations and collecting the participation fees
  • On site registrations and organisation/logistics of all sessions


Host cities: Hans Migchielsen
Topics/conference and seminar: Lia Karsten
Newsletters: Simon Weedy
Upcoming event: Manouk Brouwers