#1 Pre-conference workshop: Cities for the Youngest Residents - Practical Solutions for Nurturing Environments

Cities for the Youngest Residents - Practical Solutions for Nurturing Environments

Offered by: ISSA and the Bernard van Leer Foundation


ISSA and the Bernard van Leer Foundation

Date: June 17, 2019             

Time: 09:30 to 17:00

Location: Leiden, Child Rights  Home, Hooglandse kerkgracht 17.

See the agenda here.


Are you interested in:

  • Seeing the world through the eyes of the young child?
  • Thinking about the city from the perspective of a child?
  • Exchanging examples of noteworthy practices and learning from professionals from various fields – ECD professionals, urban planners, and policy and decision makers?


Join this interactive pre-conference workshop, with professionals from different fields, coming together to spark change towards the same goal: creating better spaces for young children to live and grow in!


Aims of the Workshop

Focusing on the wellbeing of the youngest, this one-day workshop aims to facilitate dialogue and shared learning among ECD professionals and representatives of other professions: those working on urban issues, including representatives of municipalities, policy and decision makers, place makers, architects etc.  It also aims to create a space to exchange note-worthy practices, ideas and new ways and means for improving the quality of children’s lives in cities, including a more coordinated work between different sectors and services.    


Learning Objectives

During the workshop you will learn from practical solutions and share your own! All with the aims:

  • to build the case for improving the conditions in which children grow 
  • to increase individual understanding of their role in influencing the way families with young children live, play, interact and move through urban areas 
  • to mobilize different actors at various levels of the system for this purpose, from harnessing political will to mobilizing parents, children and communities.
Take a stroll with Tim Tim and see how a child views his city in this Urban95 video.


The Bernard van Leer Foundation has identified the critical need to focus on the child within the environments where they live and grow. This need sparked the development of the Urban95 strategy which aims to mobilize urban planners, architects, engineers and city managers to incorporate a focus on early childhood development in the planning and management of cities.


Today, more than a billion children live in cities, though their voices are not heard and they

are often ignored in city planning on the micro (street), mezzo (neighbourhood) and macro (city) levels.


Walk to the market in Dakar with Antou in this video and see how she experiences the space, the environment and the people around her. What would you change after experiencing the city from her height?


Urban95 pilots and scales-up innovations in the following focus areas going beyond family and service environments


  • Public space - transforming existing physical spaces into places for young children to play and explore nature, and for their caregivers to meet and rest.
  • Mobility - Making it possible for caregivers and young children to walk or cycle to healthcare, childcare, a safe place to play, and a source of healthy food.
  • Data management - Collecting neighborhood-level data on young children and caregivers and using it to better target resources and facilitate coordination across sectors
  • Parent coaching - Providing parents and other caregivers with information on early childhood development through the existing or new services and structures.


This workshop welcomes representatives of civil society organizations, groups and networks of professionals (early childhood, social protection, child rights, professionals who are not usually focused on young children and families e.g. urban planners, architects, designers, police etc.) whose work may influence the life of children, policy makers, city managers and politicians who are responsible for the development and implementation of policies impacting children’s lives.  It could also be of interest to academics and funders.


If you are interested in exploring new ways and means for improving the quality of children’s lives in cities, consider joining!



During the workshop, interactive sessions will be combined with interviews, experiential learning, presentations and virtual reality experiences. A marketplace will be organized for participants to exchange materials, tools and information.


Interactive sessions and presentations will be delivered by city representatives, activists, architects and place-makers sharing from their work in improving: the public space, mobility, data management or parent coaching. Examples of noteworthy practice will be also shared. 


Practical Information

This workshop is offered free of charge to participants in the ISSA Conference 2019. Other interested parties who are not participating in the Conference are also welcomed.  Lunch and coffee breaks will be served.



Visit the registration page to reserve your place at this pre-conference event.  This event has a limited number of seats. To make sure you reserve your seat, register as soon as possible.



News on the Keynote Speakers will follow soon!