Conference 2016

About the event

The 8th Child in the City conference was held 7 – 9 November 2016 at the University College in Ghent, Belgium. This international event and trade show was a joint project of the Child in the City Foundation and the European Network of Child Friendly Cities (ENCFC). Child in the City 2016 had the full support of our host City of Ghent.

The conference, which takes place every two years, is a key opportunity for children’s professionals, city planners, geographers and policy makers to share knowledge, good practice and research findings from the various disciplines that are important to the shared aim of creating child friendly cities. It aims to promote collaboration within the child friendly city movement and to promote liveable, sustainable designs, services and projects that support the well-being of children and promote their active engagement in the life of their communities.

Child in the City 2016 follows previous successful conferences in Bruges, Belgium (2002), London, England (2004), Stuttgart, Germany (2006), Rotterdam, Netherlands (2008), Florence, Italy (2010), Zagreb, Croatia (2012) and Odense, Denmark (2014). These events have attracted delegates from more than 35 countries around the world and a truly international speaker programme and audience is once again anticipated.


The conference began on Monday 7th November with a plenary session and finished on Wednesday 9th November in the afternoon. Several parallel sessions and interactive workshops were held over the event’s three days. As well as the usual presentations, the conference will also offer interactive workshops.

There were visits and discussions based on the practical experience of projects in Ghent. Small workshops will be organised around the main conference themes, where the focus will be on interactive discussions.

A cocktail reception was hosted by the Mayor of Ghent and a conference dinner to network with other delegates. Before and after the conference there were optional trips to places of interest within the beautiful historical city of Ghent.

Why attend?

Child in the City 2016 offered:

  • An international forum for research and good practice in creating child friendly cities.
  • Top class presentations by some of the world’s leading practitioners, local politicians and academics.
  • A trade-show on child friendly environments.
  • A selection of field trips to sites demonstrating different aspects of the child friendly city.
  • Many networking activities with an expected audience of 400 participants from all continents.

Who attended?

Child in the City events are a must-attend for all practitioners, academics, campaigners and policy makers in any way involved with shape and nature of the modern city and how it responds to children:

  • Children’s rights advocates
  • National, regional and local authority officers
  • Youth and play workers
  • Planners
  • Urban designers
  • Children’s geographers
  • Playground designers and producers
  • Highways and traffic managers
  • Sustainability champions
  • Public health campaigners
  • Researchers
  • University lecturers and students
  • UN officials
  • NGO representatives
  • Policy makers

The 8th edition of the Child in the City Conference in Ghent.

St. Nicholas' Church - Ghent