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Incorporating a focus on early childhood development into the planning and management of cities.

If you could see a city from an elevation of 95 cm – the average height of a healthy 3-year-old – what would you do differently?

Urban95 is the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s strategy to work with urban planners, architects, engineers and city managers to incorporate a focus on early childhood development into the planning and management of cities.

Our goal is to support healthier, safer and more exciting urban neighbourhoods for young children, for those who care for them, and for everyone.

What we work on: Urban95 focus areas

Urban95 cities are working to pilot and scale cost-effective innovations in:

Green public space - Urban95 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-driven decision-making
Collecting neighbourhood-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 services and structures.

What we do: Urban95 partnerships

At the heart of Urban95 are multi-year partnerships with pioneering cities around the world.

We support these cities with technical and financial assistance to pilot and scale innovations in the Urban95 focus areas of public space, mobility, data management and parent coaching.

We also seek out opportunities to introduce young children into the global conversation about the future of cities.

These include:

  • Partnerships with universities and other institutions that train urban planners, designers and managers
  • Convenings that bring together experts in urban issues and in early childhood development
  • Advocacy to make the case for cities that meet the needs of young children and their families

The Urban95 Challenge

The Urban95 Challenge invited creative ideas and projects which promote the well-being of young children in cities from the prenatal period up to the age of 5. We received 151 ideas from 41 countries, with an average budget of EUR 15,000. 26 projects were chosen to received funding.

Geographical distribution of the Urban95 Challenge winning projects

On this page you can read more about the challenge and the winning projects.

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