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Welcome from the City of Ghent

The City of Ghent welcomes you to the 8th Child in the City Conference!

Elke 4The City of Ghent is delighted to be the host of the Child in the City conference, November 2016. As Alderman of Education, Upbringing and Youth, I am very proud to welcome you to our beautiful city.

To become a child friendly city is one of the key goals of our coalition since 2012 and is also included in the mission of the city: “Ghent is an open, solidary, smart and child friendly city”. In June 2015 we released a child and youth-friendly city action plan, containing 182 commitments, demonstrating our commitment and ambition for the city. A children’s secretary was appointed to involve youth movements, civil society and citizens to work together to realise the plan and so this conference is very timely event for our city.

Ghent breathes history but is also brimming with modern culture and city life. The city has a population of 250.000 with no less than 159 different nationalities. Diversity is a reality in Ghent, bringing a special richness to our city. With its 75,000 students, Ghent also has the largest population of students in Belgium. In recent years, the highly reputed ‘National Geographic Traveller Magazine’ ranked the city third (out of 109), in its global ranking of the world’s most authentic historic destinations.

We believe in the importance of cooperation between cities to find common response to issues that affect the day-to-day lives of our citizens in Europe and beyond. Sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas is the first step; which is why the Child in the City conference is so welcome here. We believe that by hosting this conference our teams will be as stimulated as our guests with new information and creative ideas to make the ambition of a truly child friendly city an ever-closer reality.

We hope and trust that these three days will be an inspiring experience for you; and please don’t forget to spend some time enjoying our beautiful city!

Welcome to Ghent!

Elke Decruynaere

Alderman of Education, Upbringing and Youth in Ghent